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Generic Name: Chlorpromazine (klor-PROE-ma-zeen)

Drug Class: Phenothiazines

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Chlorpromazine is used to treat psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, hallucinations, delusions, manic depression, and hostility. It is classified as a phenothiazine. It may also be prescribed to treat the symptoms of mania.

Chlorpromazine is also used to treat severe behavioral problems in children, from ages 1 – 12.

This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your health care provider.

It works by helping change certain chemicals in the brain, which professionals refer to as “neurotransmitters.” It is not yet well-understood why changing these neurochemicals results in symptom relief for the conditions this drug is commonly prescribed for.

How to Take It

Take this medicine exactly as directed. Chlorpromazine comes as a tablet, extended-release capsule, liquid, and rectal suppository. Chlorpromazine is normally taken two to four times a day. For nausea and vomiting, it is taken every 4-6 hours as needed or every 6-8 hours (rectally) as needed. Swallow extended-release capsules whole; do not open.

Side Effects

Side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include:

  • difficulty urinating
  • dry mouth
  • changes in skin color
  • skin rash
  • shuffling walk
  • decreased sexual ability
  • increased appetite/weight gain
  • blurred vision
  • drowsiness
  • stuffy nose
  • constipation
  • dizziness

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • involuntary movements
  • throat tightness
  • flu symptoms
  • seeing things in a brown tint
  • neck cramps
  • confusion
  • pounding heart beat
  • difficulty swallowing
  • rash or blisters
  • unusual bruising or bleeding

Warnings & Precautions

  • Before having imaging procedures such as X-rays or CT scans, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication.
  • DO NOT take this medication if you are also taking astemizole, amiodarone, bretylium, cabergoline,¬† dofetilide, tramadol, metoclopramide, pergolide, quinidine, sotalol, terfenadine, or cisapride.
  • This medicine may cause drowsiness.
  • DO NOT drive, operate machinery or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to this medicine.
  • Chlorpromazine may make you more sensitive to the sun. Exposure to the sun’s rays should be limited. Also use caution when using sunlamps and tanning booths.
  • This medicine may reduce sweating, making you more prone to heat stroke. Drink plenty of fluids.
  • For an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. For non-emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

Inform your doctor of all the medications you may use (both prescription and nonprescription), especially if you are taking any of the following:

  • anti-depressants
  • anti-anxiety drugs
  • sparfloxacin
  • grepafloxacin
  • guanethidine
  • guanadrel
  • lithium
  • metrizamide
  • cabergoline
  • tranquilizers
  • barbiturates
  • sleeping pills
  • narcotic pain medication (e.g. codeine)
  • any other medicines that make you drowsy.

Dosage & Missed Dose

Chlorpromazine  is available in tablet form and is usually taken 2-4 times daily, depending on age, condition, and response to the medicine.

It is typically taken every 4-6 hours for controlling nausea and vomiting. It may also be taken to relieve anxiety before surgery, and is usually taken 2-3 hours before the procedure.

Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses or take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (preferably not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using this medicine during pregnancy. It is NOT known if this medicine is excreted in breast milk. It is recommended that you DO NOT breast-feed while taking this medicine unless your doctor or pediatrician has told you to.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider, or you can visit this website, for additional information from the manufacturer of this drug.



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APA Reference
Psych Central. (2018). Chlorpromazine. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 26, 2020, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Oct 2018
Last reviewed: By Christine Traxler, M.D.
Published on All rights reserved.