Active Ingredients

Fluphenazine – Effect, Application & Risks


Fluphenazine is an active ingredient that, due to its properties, has been used successfully in human medicine as a neuroleptic since the 1960s . Fluphenazine is indicated, inter alia, in psychotic syndromes with delusions and hallucinations , diagnosed schizophrenia and psychomotor states of excitement.

What is fluphenazine?

The medicinal drug fluphenazine was approved in the Federal Republic of Germany as early as 1961 for the treatment of diseases. Under the trade names Omca® and Lyogen®, the substance was prescribed in tablet form and used to treat various mental and psychiatric illnesses.

Because of its properties, the white solid is assigned to the drug class of neuroleptics and forms part of the group of so-called phenothiazines . Fluphenazine has a moral mass of 437.52 g/mol. In chemistry and pharmacology, the drug is described by the empirical formula C 22 – H 26 – F 3 – N 3 – O – S.

It is still taken orally in tablet form. In addition to the well-known trade names, fluphenazine is also commercially available as a generic drug .

Pharmacological action

Fluphenazine is an active ingredient from the group of phenothiazines. As such, it is considered a neuroleptic and possesses antipsychotic and sedative properties. Fluphenazine is one of the so-called highly potent neuroleptics, which also include the related drugs haloperidol and perphenazine . These form the neuroleptically most potent group of the first generation of neuroleptics.

The pharmacological action of fluphenazine makes the drug a dopamine antagonist. It competitively binds to the dopamine receptors (D2 receptors) in the human brain and thereby inhibits the binding of the messenger substance dopamine . There is a slightly sedating, antipsychotic and drive-reducing effect.

In addition to its effect on the dopamine receptors, fluphenazine is also active on the serotonin receptors (5HT2 receptors). Here, too, binding of the messenger substance serotonin is prevented, which leads to an increase in the sedative, antipsychotic and drive-reducing effects.

Medical Application & Use

Since fluphenazine, unlike other neuroleptics such. B. triflupromazine , triggers only neuroleptic or sedative effects, the active ingredient in human medicine is used exclusively in psychiatry . In veterinary medicine, however, fluphenazine is also used as a sedative to induce anesthesia .

The neuroleptic is taken orally as a film-coated tablet by patients after prior medical prescription. It is sold exclusively through pharmacies , as the drug is subject to prescription and pharmacy requirements in Europe and the USA.

Currently, the drug is only used in mono preparations. Drugs containing fluphenazine as the active ingredient are indicated when patients have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. In these cases, fluphenazine can be prescribed to prevent recurrence or to treat chronic psychoses. But fluphenazine is also prescribed for thought disorders , acute delusions, hallucinations and ego disorders. Depending on the treatment goal, the application can be short-term or long-term, with the latter being the rule.

Risks & side effects

Before taking fluphenazine for the first time, it must be checked whether there is an intolerance ( allergy ) to the active ingredient. If this is the case, treatment should not be carried out. Such a contraindication is also given when patients suffer from severe functional disorders of the kidneys or liver . In addition, taking neuroleptics can increase the effects of painkillers and anesthetics . Before an operation, the dose of the preparations used must therefore be reduced accordingly. Since by fluphenazine also the effect of alcoholis intensified, nothing should be drunk shortly before or after taking the active substance.

Because fluphenazine is a neuroleptic, undesirable side effects can occur after ingestion . However, this does not necessarily have to be the case. Nevertheless, some patients report disorders of the extrapyramidal motor system (EPMS). These are usually expressed by a tremor (involuntary, rhythmic contraction of various muscle groups) or rigidity (pathogenically increased tension of the skeletal muscles ).

Taking fluphenazine can also lead to blood pressure values ​​below 100/60 mmHg (hypotension). It is also possible that treatment with fluphenazine leads to a long-term exceeding of the age-typical heart rate ( tachycardia ).

In some clinical studies, those treated also reported complaints of the gastrointestinal tract , which manifested themselves in vomiting , nausea , general malaise and constipation ( constipation ). Other side effects known to date include dry mouth and headaches .

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.