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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Detailed Drug Information (USP DI) > Phenothiazines : Side Effects

Phenothiazines (Systemic)

Phenothiazines | Before Using | Proper Use | Precautions | Side Effects | Additional Information

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with their needed effects, phenothiazines can sometimes cause serious unwanted effects. Tardive dyskinesia or tardive dystonia (muscle movement disorders) may occur and may not go away after you stop using the medicine. Signs of tardive dyskinesia or tardive dystonia include worm-like movements of the tongue, or other uncontrolled movements of the mouth, tongue, cheeks, jaw, body, arms, or legs. Another possible serious unwanted effect is the neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Signs and symptoms of NMS include severe muscle stiffness, fever, fast heartbeat, difficult breathing, increased sweating, and loss of bladder control. You and your doctor should discuss the good this medicine will do as well as the risks of taking it .

    Stop taking this medicine and check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

      Rare - Symptoms of neuroleptic malignant syndrome

        Confusion (severe) or coma; difficult or fast breathing; drooling; fast heartbeat; fever; high or low (irregular) blood pressure; increased sweating; loss of bladder control; muscle stiffness (severe); trembling or shaking; trouble in speaking or swallowing

    Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

      More common

        Inability to move eyes; increased blinking or spasms of eyelid; lip smacking or puckering; muscle spasms of face, neck, body, arms, or legs causing unusual postures or unusual expressions on face; puffing of cheeks; rapid or worm-like movements of tongue; sticking out of tongue; tic-like or twitching movements; trouble in breathing, speaking, or swallowing; uncontrolled chewing movements; uncontrolled movements of arms or legs; uncontrolled twisting movements of neck, trunk, arms, or legs

      Rare

        irregular or slow heart rate; recurrent fainting

    Also, check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

      More common

        Blurred vision, change in color vision, or difficulty in seeing at night; fainting; loss of balance control; mask-like face; restlessness or need to keep moving; shuffling walk; stiffness of arms or legs; trembling and shaking of hands and fingers

      Less common

        Difficulty in urinating; skin rash; sunburn (severe)

      Rare

        Abdominal or stomach pains; aching muscles and joints; agitation, bizarre dreams, excitement, or trouble in sleeping; bleeding or bruising (unusual); chest pain; clumsiness; confusion (mild); constipation (severe); convulsions (seizures); dark urine; fever and chills; hair loss; headaches; hot, dry skin or lack of sweating; itchy skin (severe); muscle weakness; nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; pain in joints; prolonged, painful, inappropriate erection of the penis; redness of hands; shivering; skin discoloration (tan or blue-gray); sore throat and fever; sores in mouth; unusual bleeding or bruising; unusual tiredness or weakness; yellow eyes or skin

Note:

Phenothiazines may cause your urine to be dark. In most cases, this is not a sign of a serious problem. However, if your urine does become dark, discuss it with your doctor.

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

    More common

      Constipation (mild); decreased sweating; dizziness; drowsiness; dryness of mouth; nasal congestion

    Less common

      Changes in menstrual period; decreased sexual ability; increased sensitivity of eyes to light; rough or “fuzzy” tongue; secretion of milk (unusual); swelling or pain in breasts; watering of mouth; weight gain (unusual)

After you stop using this medicine, your body may need time to adjust. The length of time this takes depends on the amount of medicine you were using and how long you used it. During this time, check with your doctor if you notice dizziness, nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, trembling of the fingers and hands, or any of the following signs of tardive dyskinesia or tardive dystonia:

Inability to move eyes; lip smacking or puckering; muscle spasms of face, neck, body, arms, or legs, causing unusual body positions or unusual expressions on face; puffing of cheeks; rapid or worm-like movements of tongue; sticking out of tongue; tic-like or twitching movements; trouble in breathing, speaking, or swallowing; uncontrolled chewing movements; uncontrolled twisting or other movements of neck, trunk, arms, or legs

Although not all of the side effects listed above have been reported for all of the phenothiazines, they have been reported for at least one of them. However, since all of the phenothiazines are very similar, any of the above side effects may occur with any of these medicines.

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.


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