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Trilafon Side Effects

This is the common brand name of the prescription only generic drug Perphenazine. It is in the drug group Phenothiazines. This drug is prescribed in psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and in severe vomiting. It is also prescribed in severe vomiting. Main side effects are sedation, dry mouth and abnormal movements.

This drug blocks Dopamine, Histamine, and Acetyl Choline receptors. This is responsible for its therapeutic effect as well as side effects.

What are the common side effects?

Drowsiness is the most common side effect patients complain, especially at the beginning of treatment. This can affect skilled tasks such as operating machinery and driving. Drowsiness is enhanced by taking alcohol.

Abnormal involuntary movements may occur in all age groups and at any dose. But they occur more frequently in children and young adults, following intravenous administration, and with higher doses. Abnormal movements include movements in neck, limbs, and rhythmic protrusion of the tongue. They occur usually after 24 – 48 hours after starting therapy and decrease over 24 h following discontinuation of the drug. Most patients respond rapidly to treatment with diazepam and anti-cholinergic medication like Benzhexol.

Other common side effects are dry mouth, constipation, confusion in elderly, difficulty in urination, and blurred vision.

Uncommon side effects

Headache, seizures, gastro intestinal disturbances, cardiac rhythm abnormalities, and reduced blood pressure are other uncommon side effects.

Patient can faint after taking this drug due to reduced blood pressure, especially early in the regimen. This medication sometimes causes hormonal disturbances, which can leads to menstrual disturbances, abnormal milk secretion from breasts, impotence, sexual dysfunction and weight gain.

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome is a potentially life threatening complication of Trilafon. If the patient rapidly becomes unconscious with fever, muscle rigidity, low/high blood pressure, sweating, and urinary incontinence then he/she must be sent to an emergency medical unit.

How to minimize side effects

Trilafon should be taken as a whole with full glass of water. It should not be crushed before use and it should be used as prescribed by the doctor. Doctor will give several medications (Benzhexol) to minimize side effects like abnormal movements. Doctor will prescribe Trilafon, usually at night to minimize daytime sleepiness.

To minimize side effects, prescribing doctor must know the entire medical history of the patient including over the counter and recreational drugs patient is on. Doctor should know whether the patient is having

* Kidney disease

* Liver problems

* Cardiac diseases

* Parkinson’s disease

* Epilepsy

* Myasthenia Gravis

* Enlargement of the prostate gland

* Susceptibility to angle closure glaucoma.

Doctor should also know whether the patient is pregnant, planning to get pregnant or breast feeding as well.


British National Formulary