Pronunciation: ?

Generic name(s): perphenazine

Drug Class: phenothiazine/antipsychotic

Indications: Mainly used to treat schizophrenia. Like other phenothiazines, it can be used to control severe nausea and vomiting; unlike some phenothiazines (such as Serentil), it's not known to be an effective treatment for hyperactivity in the mentally retarded.

How supplied: tablets (2, 4, 8, and 16 mg); liquid (16 mg/5 mL); injection (5 mg/1 mL)

Dosage for adults: 5 mg-64 mg

Dosage for children: Not recommended for children under 12.

Contraindications: Should not be used in patients receiving other central nervous system depressants such as alcohol, barbiturates, or narcotics. Should not be used in patients with damage to subcortical brain regions, particularly the hypothalamus.

Precautions: Trilafon can be used to treat severe vomiting, but it is important to remember that chronic vomiting may indicate a serious disorder (brain tumor, intestinal obstruction, etc.) that requires separate treatment. It should be used with caution in patients who have glaucoma, are at high risk of hypotension, or are frequently exposed to extreme heat, as it may exacerbate these conditions; lower doses should be used in patients with respiratory, kidney, liver, or other metabolic disorders. Phenothiazines in general cause elevated prolactin levels, which may be associated with breast cancer; use with caution in patients at risk for this form of cancer. During surgery, patients on Trilafon may experience extremely low blood pressure and may need lower doses of anesthetic or sedative. There are no studies that establish the safety of Trilafon in pregnant women; therefore, they should avoid it unless they experience vomiting or nausea that is so severe that the benefits of the drug outweigh the potential risks.

Interactions: As noted above, Trilafon may exacerbate the effects of central nervous system depressants.

Common Side-Effects: drowsiness, hypotension, muscle spasms, difficulties in movement, tardive dyskinesia, neuroleptic malignant syndrome

Warnings: When patients first start taking Trilafon, they may experience changes in concentration and alertness, so patients should be careful about operating machinery, engaging in dangerous activity, etc., until they learn how the drug affects them. Long-term use of all phenothiazines, including Trilafon, can cause tardive dyskinesia, which is a potentially irreversible syndrome involving constant involuntary movements. This syndrome sometimes--but not always--goes away when the drug is removed. Therefore, Trilafon should be used with extreme caution and at the lowest possible dose for periods longer than a few months. It can also cause neuroleptic malignant syndrome, which involves high fever, muscle rigidity, irregular pulse or heartbeat, and possibly death.

Trilafon injections contain sodium bisulfite, which may cause severe allergic reactions or asthmatic attacks in some people.

Date of most recent update: 1/31/03

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