Side Effects of Fluphenazine (Prolixin)
Fluphenazine, or commonly known as the brand Prolixin, is an antipsychotic medication used in the treatment of certain types of mental and mood conditions such as schizophrenia.
This medication belongs to a class of drugs called phenothiazines and is also referred to as a neuroleptic (a drug that depresses nerve functions and a major tranquilizer). Prolixin is discontinued so this medication is available in generic form only. Phenothiazines should not be used in patients with subcortical brain damage. Use of this medication outside a psychiatric hospital should be used with extreme caution. The possibility of liver damage, deposits on the eyes, pigmentary retinopathy (disease in which the retina is damaged), and development of irreversible dyskinesia (involuntary, repetitive body movements) could occur when patients are on long-term therapy.
The Prolixin injection is a long acting parenteral injected directly onto the muscle or applied under the skin. Prolixin is intended for use in the management of patients requiring long lasting therapy. This type of therapy is often optimal for chronic schizophrenia.
Precautions Before Prolixin Treatment
This drug must be used with caution in any patient with mitral valve problems or other cardiovascular disease. Outside institutions blood should be collected regularly from the patient to rule out liver or kidney damage and to ensure the blood work is normal. If the BUN (blood urea nitrogen) becomes abnormal, treatment should be discontinued.
Serious Side Effects
According to the FDA, severe side effects may occur when on Prolixin treatment. These are:
- Neck, face, or back spasms
- Fast breathing
- Rapid heartbeats
- Severe muscle rigidness or stiffness
Common Side Effects
The common side effects are drowsiness, dizziness, agitation, restlessness, dry mouth, appetite loss, constipation, headaches, and loss of focus in vision (Prolixin label by the FDA).
About Pharmacogenetic Testing
Prolixin is a metabolized in the cytochrome P450 enzyme, CYP2D6. CYP2D6 is the liver enzyme responsible for metabolizing approximately 20% of all known drugs. Prolixin or the generic forms of these drugs must be metabolized through CYP2D6, along with other drugs and substances that are metabolized by this enzyme.
Some individuals experience the side effects of Prolixin while others don’t. The reason behind this is interpatient variability in gene variations. Patients with variations in the enzymes that metabolize Prolixin may experience adverse drug reactions. Pharmacogenetics examines how a patient’s genes may affect how his or her body breaks down medications. It provides precise care based on a patient’s needs and his or her genetic profile. This results in greater patient confidence, medical adherence, and successful treatments.
Know Your Risk with the Rxight® Genetic Test
The Rxight® genetic test developed by MD Labs can identify your gene variations. With your genetic information, your doctor will be able to prescribe optimal dosing for any medication and in some cases, prescribe a different drug based on the variations in your genes that are responsible for making the enzymes that metabolize drugs. Rxight® is done with just a simple cheek swab that collects your entire DNA. With your results, your doctor will know about all your medication-related genetic variations and will possibly be able to make better decisions about your healthcare. The Rxight® pharmacogenetics test is accurate, easy to understand, and reliable making it possible to bring individualized medicine to you.
Contributors to this Article:
Michael Sapko, MD, PhD; and Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry
Read more about Rxight® Individualized Medicine