skip to main content
NZ Formulary

Printable Printable large type (2 pages) A4 Size PDF A5 Size PDF

Trifluoperazine

try-floo-oh-peer-ah-zeen

What does it do?

Trifluoperazine is used to treat some mental health problems such as schizophrenia. It is also sometimes used for other conditions.

How should you take it?

Take trifluoperazine regularly as directed with a glass of water.

What if you forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and carry on as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with trifluoperazine including:

  • some antihistamines (may be in anti-allergy, anti-nausea and cough/cold medicines)
  • anti-nausea medicines (e.g. Buccastem®, Scopoderm®, Sea-legs®)
  • antacids (e.g. Mylanta®) - do not take these within two hours of taking trifluoperazine.

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. St John's wort, valerian) or recreational drugs (e.g. cannabis).

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Fever, stiffness, sweating, confusion

Feeling restless, strange or uncontrolled movements, tremor

Fast or irregular heartbeat, fainting

Symptoms of a blood clot including: sudden shortness of breath, swelling or pain in one leg

Seizures

Symptoms of liver problems including: yellow skin or eyes, itching, dark urine, pale bowel motions, abdominal pain

Prolonged erection (longer than four hours)

Tell your doctor immediately

Drowsiness, dizziness

Weight gain

Dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, trouble peeing

Stomach upset

Changes in periods

Sore or enlarged breasts, breastmilk production

Less interest in sex, impotence

Change in skin colour (blue, grey, purple)

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have heart, liver, bowel, bladder, prostate or eye (e.g. glaucoma) problems.
  • Tell your doctor if you have diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, have ever had a seizure, blood clot, stroke or ‘mini-stroke’, or if you have experienced strange body movements with another medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Your doctor may do a heart test (ECG) before you start and while you are taking trifluoperazine.
  • Trifluoperazine may make you dizzy or sleepy and make it dangerous to drive, operate machinery or do other activities that require you to be alert. Limit alcohol intake because it can increase these effects.
  • Protect yourself from too much sunlight while being treated with trifluoperazine. Always cover up and apply a thick layer of broad spectrum sunscreen (at least SPF 30) when outside. Do not use sunbeds.
  • Smoking can change the effect of trifluoperazine. Tell your doctor if you give up, cut down or start smoking.
  • Trifluoperazine reduces your body’s ability to maintain a normal temperature. Be careful of becoming too cold or too hot. When exercising, drink plenty of water.
  • You have an increased risk of getting diabetes while taking trifluoperazine. Discuss with your doctor.
  • Do not stop taking trifluoperazine without talking to your doctor first.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. January 2018

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

Web links for this sheet in different formats

Click on buttons to copy web addresses for this leaflet:

If your browser does not automatically copy these links use its copy command instead.

About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed