Pericyazine - Oral

Pronunciation: pair-eh-SY-uh-zeen

Common Brand Name(s): Neuleptil

Important: How To Use This Information

This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

Warning

There may be a slightly increased risk of serious, possibly fatal side effects (such as heart failure, fast/irregular heartbeat, pneumonia) when this medication is used by older adults with dementia. This medication is not approved for the treatment of dementia-related behavior problems. Discuss the risks and benefits of this medication, as well as other effective and possibly safer treatments for dementia-related behavior problems, with the doctor.

Uses

Pericyazine is used with other medications to treat certain mental/mood disorders (e.g., schizophrenia). This medication helps to reduce aggressive/angry behavior and the desire to hurt yourself/others. It helps to calm you so you can take part in everyday life. Pericyazine belongs to the class of psychiatric drugs known as phenothiazines. It works by restoring the balance of certain natural substances in the brain.

How To Use

Take this medication by mouth, usually twice daily in the morning and evening or as directed by your doctor. If you are using the liquid drops, use the dropper that comes with the product to carefully measure each dose. Do not use a household spoon because you might not get the correct dose.

The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment. Your doctor may start you at a low dose and slowly increase your dose based on your response. It may take up to several weeks before the full benefits of this medication take effect.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. Do not increase your dose, take it more frequently, or use it for a longer time than prescribed because this may increase your risk of serious side effects. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.

Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

Side Effects

Drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, blurred vision, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, and decreased interest in sex may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Dizziness and lightheadedness can increase the risk of falling. Get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

This drug may sometimes cause muscle/nervous system problems (extrapyramidal symptoms-EPS). Your doctor may prescribe another medication to decrease these side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any of the following side effects:

  • increased anxiety
  • restlessness/constant need to move
  • mask-like facial expression
  • drooling
  • trouble swallowing
  • shaking (tremor)
  • shuffling walk
  • stiff muscles

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

  • difficulty urinating
  • dark discoloration of the skin/eyes
  • easy bleeding/bruising
  • mental/mood changes (such as increased aggression/agitation, trouble sleeping)
  • vision changes
  • yellowing eyes/skin
  • signs of extreme changes in blood sugar levels (such as unusual hunger, weakness, increased thirst/urination)
  • signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat)
  • unexplained weight gain
  • swelling of the hands/feet

This medication may rarely cause a condition known as tardive dyskinesia. In some cases, this condition may be permanent. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any unusual/uncontrolled/repeated movements, especially of the face, mouth, tongue, arms, or legs (such as lip smacking/puckering, tongue thrusting, chewing, finger/toe movements).

In rare cases, pericyazine may increase the level of a certain natural substance in the body (prolactin). For females, this effect may result in unwanted breast milk, missed/stopped periods, or difficulty becoming pregnant. For males, it may result in decreased sexual ability, inability to produce sperm, or enlarged breasts. If you develop any of these symptoms, tell your doctor right away.

Rarely, males may have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours. If this occurs, stop using this drug and get medical help right away, or permanent problems could occur.

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including:

  • slow heartbeat
  • fainting
  • severe muscle spasm/cramping (such as twisting neck, arching back, eyes rolling up)
  • seizures

This medication may rarely cause a very serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Get medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • fever
  • muscle stiffness/pain/tenderness/weakness
  • severe tiredness
  • severe confusion
  • sweating
  • fast/irregular heartbeat
  • dark urine
  • signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine)

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:

  • rash
  • itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
  • severe dizziness
  • trouble breathing

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before taking pericyazine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other phenothiazines (such as chlorpromazine, thioridazine); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:

  • blood disorders/decreased bone marrow function (such as low white blood cell count)
  • liver disease
  • intoxication with medications that depress the nervous system or your breathing (CNS/respiratory depressants such as alcohol, sedatives, sleeping medications, narcotic pain relievers)
  • heart problems (such as irregular heart rhythm, heart valve problems)
  • low blood pressure
  • seizures
  • trouble urinating (such as due to an enlarged prostate)
  • eye problems (such as glaucoma, retinal disease)
  • stomach/intestinal blockage problems (such as severe constipation, paralytic ileus)
  • a certain type of tumor (pheochromocytoma)
  • severe breathing problems (such as severe asthma, emphysema)
  • kidney disease

Pericyazine may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.

The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using pericyazine, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions:

  • certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG)
  • family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death)

Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using pericyazine safely.

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or blur your vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness or clear vision until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.

This medication may make you sweat less, making you more likely to get heat stroke. Avoid doing things that may cause you to overheat, such as hard work or exercise in hot weather, or using hot tubs. When the weather is hot, drink a lot of fluids and dress lightly. If you overheat, quickly look for a place to cool down and rest. Get medical help right away if you have a fever that does not go away, mental/mood changes, headache, or dizziness.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, and QT prolongation (see above). Drowsiness, dizziness, and lightheadedness can increase the risk of falling.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Babies born to mothers who have used this drug during the last 3 months of pregnancy may rarely develop symptoms including muscle stiffness or shakiness, drowsiness, feeding/breathing difficulties, or constant crying. If you notice any of these symptoms in your newborn especially during their first month, tell the doctor right away.

Since untreated mental/mood problems (such as schizophrenia) can be a serious condition, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, immediately discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy.

It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug include:

  • certain SSRI antidepressants (fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine)
  • duloxetine
  • cabergoline
  • levodopa
  • metrizamide
  • pergolide
  • guanethidine
  • guanadrel
  • lithium
  • pindolol
  • propranolol
  • anticholinergic drugs (e.g., atropine, belladonna alkaloids, glycopyrrolate, scopolamine)
  • antispasmodic drugs (e.g., clidinium, dicyclomine, hyoscyamine, oxybutynin)

Many drugs besides pericyazine may affect the heart rhythm (QT prolongation), including dofetilide, pimozide, procainamide, amiodarone, quinidine, sotalol, macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin), among others. Therefore, before using pericyazine, report all medications you are currently using to your doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness such as opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine).

Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.

This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (certain pregnancy tests), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.

Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: confusion, agitation, muscle twitching, severe drowsiness, loss of consciousness, seizures, irregular heartbeat.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., complete blood count, liver function tests, eye exams) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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