Thorazine: Usage & Side Effects

Chlorpromazine (Thorazine) belongs to the group of drugs known as the
phenothiazines, and acts as an anti-psychotic agent by modifying the actions of brain chemicals. Thorazine is used in psychological illnesses, such as schizophrenia, the manic stage of bipolar disease, childhood behavioral and conduct disorders, and anxiety and restlessness prior to operations. It can also be used to treat severe hiccups, nausea and vomiting, the blood condition porphyria, etc. In conjunction with other drugs, it can be used to treat tetanus as well as other various diseases.

Can You Use Thorazine?

You may need to speak to your doctor before using Thorazine, especially if:

  • You are currently taking any other prescribed or over-the-counter medications, or herbal remedies, in particular drugs like cisapride, cabergoline, amiodarone, astemizole, pergolide, sotalol, bretylium, tramadol, quinidine, dofetilide, terfenadine or metoclopramide.
  • You have taken large quantities of alcohol, or drugs that cause tiredness, for instance, barbiturates (e.g. phenobarbital) or narcotic painkillers (e.g. codeine).
  • You are pregnant, are hoping to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • You are allergic to chlorpromazine or any other phenothiazines, for example, thioridazine.
  • You have any of the conditions like heart problems, diabetes, high or low blood pressure, blood conditions (e.g. anemia), problems with the bone marrow (e.g. a low white blood cell count), liver disease (e.g. cirrhosis), kidney disease, asthma, and other serious medical conditions.

How to Use Thorazine

Always take chlorpromazine (Thorazine) as advised by your doctor. For the exact dose required, refer to the information included with the prescription. Usually, Thorazine is given as an injection at a hospital, doctor’s office, or clinic, and you can administer it yourself at home, after a healthcare provider has taught you how.

However, there are certain precautions you need to take when self-administering Thorazine:

  • Make sure you follow the instructions given, and ask your doctor if you have any questions.
  • Use rubber gloves and avoid contact with your skin or clothing, as Thorazine can irritate your skin.
  • Don’t use the drug if it appears cloudy or off-color, or if the vial is damaged or cracked in any way.
  • Don’t abruptly stop taking the medication unless it’s an emergency. Speak to your doctor first if you have any issues with the Thorazine.
  • Don’t ever re-use the needles and syringes used for administering Thorazine. You can ask your healthcare provider how to best dispose of these.
  • Keep the Thorazine, syringes and needles well away from children and animals.

What Are the Possible Side Effects of Thorazine?

Mild side-effects from Thorazine include:

  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Menstrual changes
  • Swelling in or discharge from the breasts
  • Weight gain
  • Dry mouth
  • Blocked-up nose
  • Blurred vision
  • Swelling in the hands and feet
  • Impotence or problems with orgasm.

You may also experience these more serious side-effects, in which case, you should stop taking the Thorazine and see your doctor as soon as possible:

  • Decreases in the amount of urine you produce
  • Eye problems such as loss of night vision, watering, increased light sensitivity, tunnel vision, etc.
  • Mental issues like feeling faint, restless, agitated or jittery feelings, strange thoughts or behavior, confusion, etc.
  • Neurological problems which include twitches or involuntary movements, particularly in the tongue, lips, face, eyes, arms or legs, uncontrolled shaking, seizures or blackouts, etc.
  • Drooling or problems swallowing
  • Balance or gait issues
  • Cardiac problems like decreased heart rate or feeble pulse, quickened or uneven heartbeat, chest pain, etc.
  • Slow or rapid breathing
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Itching
  • Jaundice
  • Stiff or aching muscles
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Swollen glands
  • Skin problems like paleness, patches, skin becomes bruised or bleeds easily, etc.
  • Joint pain or swelling

Finally, if you experience any of the signs of an allergic reaction like hives, problems breathing, swelling of your lips, tongue, face or throat, you will need immediate medical care.

Are There More Things I Should Know When TakingThorazine?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, just skip the missing dose. Don’t take extra medicine to make up for it, which can cause overdose that needs medical help right away. The symptoms of overdose include:

  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pains
  • Restless or agitated feelings
  • Seizures or loss of consciousness
  • Fever
  • Stiff or jerky muscles
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Changes to the heart rate

Thorazine may also affect your mental abilities. Take extra care if you are driving or are involved in any activity that requires increased attention. Try not to get up from lying and sitting positions too quickly, as this can cause dizziness.

You also need to limit your exposure to sunlight and tanning beds. This is because Thorazine can increase your sensitivity to the sun’s UV rays, leading to sunburn. If you do go outside in the sun, use a suncream with a high sun protection factor (SPF), ideally SPF30 or greater.

Alcohol can increase some of the side effects of Thorazine, so it is best avoided.