Stelazine (Trifluoperazine) Medication

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Drug Description


Stelazine is a prescribed medication indicated for alleviating symptoms of schizophrenia, a mental disorder characterized by disrupted or atypical cognition, diminished life engagement, and intense or inadequate emotional responses. 

As a phenothiazine antipsychotic, Stelazine functions by aiding the restoration of balance among specific natural compounds within the brain. 

Stelazine is also suitable for short-term management of generalized non-psychotic anxiety. However, it is not typically the initial choice for most patients due to certain risks that are not present with commonly used alternatives like benzodiazepines. 

Uses and Dosage 

Before taking Stelazine and with every prescription refill, carefully review its medication guide and patient information leaflet. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for any inquiries or concerns. 

Stelazine’s dosage is determined based on individual medical conditions, age, and response to the treatment. In children, weight is also considered. 

To minimize potential side effects, your doctor might advise commencing this medication with a low dose and incrementally raising it. Adhere closely to your doctor’s guidance. 

Typically, Stelazine is taken once or twice a day as prescribed by the doctor, without regard to food intake. 

For optimal results, take this medication exactly as directed at the same time(s) every day.  

Keep taking Stelazine despite improved well-being. Ceasing intake should only be done after consulting your doctor, as abrupt discontinuation may lead to withdrawal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and tremors. Your doctor is likely to recommend a gradual dose reduction. 

Side Effects 

Listed below are the potential adverse effects of Stelazine. Notify your doctor promptly if any of them last or worsen. 

Common Side Effects 

  • Dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue 
  • Impaired vision 
  • Dry mouth, reduced appetite 
  • Insomnia 
  • Muscle weakness 
  • Pruritus or rash 
  • Irregular menstrual cycles 
  • Breast enlargement or discharge 

Serious Side Effects 

  • Involuntary muscle movements in arms, legs, or face (chewing, lip smacking, etc.) 
  • Neck stiffness, throat tightness, swallowing/breathing difficulties 
  • Restlessness, agitation 
  • Impaired night vision, tunnel vision, increased light sensitivity 
  • Seizures (loss of consciousness, convulsions) 
  • Jaundice (yellow skin/eyes) 
  • Low blood cell count: 
    • Fever 
    • Chills 
    • Mouth/ skin sores 
    • Sore throat 
    • Cough 
    • Pale skin 
    • Easy bleeding/bruising 
    • Breathing issues 
  • Severe nervous system reaction: 
    • Rigid muscles 
    • High fever 
    • Sweating 
    • Confusion 
    • Rapid/irregular heartbeat 
    • Tremors 
    • Potential fainting 

Notify your doctor immediately if any of the serious side effects above are experienced. 

Prolonged or excessive usage of Stelazine can lead to an irreversible movement disorder, particularly among women and older individuals. 

Allergic Reactions 

Although rare, a severe allergic reaction to Stelazine may occur. Seek prompt medical help in case of any signs of an allergic reaction, such as: 

  • Hives 
  • Swelling of the face, lip, tongue, or throat  
  • Difficulty breathing 

Not all side effects of Stelazine are included in this list. Tell your doctor if any unlisted effects are experienced. 


Before starting treatment with Stelazine, inform your doctor if you have any known allergies, particularly to: 

  • Trifluoperazine 
  • Other phenothiazines (e.g., chlorpromazine, perphenazine) 
  • Other medicines 

Consult your pharmacist for additional information regarding Stelazine, as it may contain inactive ingredients that may lead to allergic reactions or other complications. 

To ensure Stelazine is safe for you, disclose to your physician your medical background, especially if you have a history of: 

  • Liver issues 
  • Kidney complications 
  • Heart conditions (mitral valve insufficiency, arrhythmias, angina) 
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure) 
  • Intestinal blockage 
  • Glaucoma 
  • Seizures 
  • Enlarged prostate 
  • Respiratory difficulties (severe asthma, emphysema, lung infections) 
  • Blood disorders (bone marrow depression, low blood cell counts) 
  • Low blood calcium levels 
  • Dehydration 
  • Breast cancer 
  • Brain disorders/tumors/injuries 
  • Exposure to organophosphate insecticides 
  • Pheochromocytoma 
  • Substance abuse 
  • Parkinson’s disease 

Inform all your healthcare providers of any current or recently started or stopped medications, including prescription/nonprescription drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements, to lower the risk of drug interactions with Stelazine. 

Some of the products that may interact with Stelazine include: 

  • Anticholinergic/antispasmodic medications (e.g., atropine, dicyclomine, scopolamine) 
  • Dopamine-enhancing drugs (cabergoline, levodopa, pergolide, ropinirole) 
  • Guanethidine 
  • Lithium 
  • Phenytoin 
  • Propranolol 
  • Warfarin 
  • Other agents causing orthostatic dizziness (including alpha blockers like prazosin) 

Ensure to review the labels of all your medications, including allergy or cough-and-cold products, as they might contain sleep-inducing elements. Consult your pharmacist for guidance on using these products securely. 

Furthermore, inform your physician or pharmacist if you are using substances that induce drowsiness or potentially decrease respiratory rate, including: 

  • Alcohol 
  • Cannabis 
  • Antihistamines (e.g., cetirizine, diphenhydramine) 
  • Sleep or anxiety medications (alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem) 
  • Muscle relaxants 
  • Opioid pain relievers (codeine) 

Stelazine can potentially disrupt specific laboratory examinations (like phenylketonuria tests), which can cause inaccurate outcomes. Ensure laboratory staff and your healthcare providers are aware of your use of this medication. 

If you are undergoing a myelogram (spinal x-ray), inform your physician and the radiographer about your Stelazine use. Your doctor will likely advise discontinuing this medication two days before the myelogram and for one day following the procedure. 

Before undergoing surgical or imaging procedures (e.g., specific X-rays, CT scans) involving contrast dye (such as metrizamide), inform your doctor or dentist of your Stelazine usage. 

Stelazine can induce drowsiness and influence cognition and motor skills, particularly during initial treatment. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you comprehend the medication’s impact on you. 

Rapidly transitioning from a supine position while taking Stelazine may result in dizziness, lightheadedness, and potential loss of consciousness. To mitigate these risks, cautiously rise from lying down by allowing your feet to rest on the floor briefly before assuming an upright stance. 

Stelazine may increase sun sensitivity. Take precautions to limit sun exposure and protect your skin with clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. 

Stelazine can impair your body’s ability to regulate temperature in high temperatures. Inform your doctor if you intend to engage in intense physical activity or face extreme heat exposure. 

There is a slight possibility of individuals who handle Stelazine tablets developing a skin rash. Individuals assisting with your medication should refrain from direct contact with the tablets. 

Children could exhibit heightened sensitivity to Stelazine’s side effects, particularly uncontrolled movements. Their susceptibility might increase during illness, such as viral infections or dehydration. 

Elderly individuals might experience greater sensitivity to Stelazine’s side effects, particularly dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, confusion, involuntary movements, constipation, impaired urination, and blurred vision. The combination of dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, and confusion can elevate the likelihood of falling. 

Inform your doctor of your pregnancy status or if you become pregnant. The usage of Stelazine during the final trimester of pregnancy could result in newborn complications like breathing and feeding difficulties, as well as withdrawal symptoms. 

Breastfeeding should be discussed with a healthcare professional due to the presence of trifluoperazine in breast milk. 

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Quality Prescription Drugs has provided information from third parties intended to increase awareness and does not contain all the information about Stelazine (Trifluoperazine). Talk to your doctor or a qualified medical practitioner for medical attention, advice, or if you have any concerns about Stelazine (Trifluoperazine).