Fluphenazine is a medication that is primarily used in the treatment of psychotic disorders. It belongs to the category of antipsychotic medications, which are typically prescribed to reduce symptoms of psychosis, or a break from reality. These symptoms may include delusions, hallucinations, or any other disconnects from reality.
One of the most common uses for fluphenazine is for the treatment of schizophrenia, a psychotic disorder in which a person becomes detached from reality and may hear voices in his or her head, see things that are not actually there, or experience other delusions. Although schizophrenia tends to be the most common use for the medication, it may also be prescribed for psychotic disorders, such as schizoaffective disorder, in which a person experiences symptoms of schizophrenia combined with symptoms of depression. Another use for the medication is for delusional disorder, a condition in which a person otherwise functions normally in society but experiences persistent false beliefs, such as being convinced someone is following him or her or that he or she is being conspired against, that are not considered as bizarre as the delusions of other psychotic disorders.
Fluphenazine is thought to work at treating the symptoms of psychotic disorders by altering the levels of chemicals in the brain known as neurotransmitters, which are responsible for sending messages from the brain throughout other parts of the body. Although the causes of psychotic disorders have not been conclusively proven, people with these disorders tend to have higher levels of certain neurotransmitters in their brains, especially with the neurotransmitter dopamine. One of the main functions of dopamine is helping the brain process thoughts; therefore, an abnormally high level of dopamine is thought to negatively affect cognition and prevent a person with a psychotic disorder from being able to differentiate between what is real and what is not. Antipsychotic medications like fluphenazine can block dopamine receptors in the brain to prevent overly high levels of the neurotransmitter.
The medication is typically available in a capsule or tablet form and is taken orally. It is generally recommended to be taken approximately twice a day. Fluphenazine may also be available in a liquid form, which may be administered by filling a dropper and mixing the medication with most liquids, with the exception of apple juice or caffeinated drinks.
Fluphenazine may cause certain side effects. Some of the most common side effects are drowsiness, nightmares, dry mouth, anxiety, or changes in appetite or weight. These side effects may subside as a person’s body becomes used to the medication and are not generally considered dangerous. Some possibly dangerous side effects of the medication may include difficulties with speech, muscle spasms, tremors, or irregular heartbeat, and immediate medical attention is typically recommended.