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Trifluoperazine: Clinical Utility in Treating Psychiatric Disorders

Author: Richard "Cole" Daniels, PharmD, BCPS

CE: 2.5 hours Pharmacology: 2.5 hours
Rated 4.7 out of 5.0 based on 775 reviews

Course Summary

Trifluoperazine is an antipsychotic medication that is primarily used in the treatment of various mental and emotional conditions. It belongs to a class of drugs called phenothiazines, which work by affecting the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, including dopamine. Trifluoperazine is primarily utilized to treat patients diagnosed with generalized non-psychotic anxiety and schizophrenia. It has been used successfully for many years as an adjunct for manic, impulsive, and aggressive behaviors, such as with autistic individuals. There are drug side effects that occur with typical antipsychotic drugs, the most notable being those that affect the extrapyramidal motor system. Extrapyramidal reactions in people taking phenothiazines are believed to be due to the blockade of central dopaminergic receptors affecting motor function, generally occurring at higher doses. The extrapyramidal reactions caused by phenothiazines have been predominantly described as dystonic reactions, motor restlessness, and Parkinsonian-type symptoms. While the drug’s use has declined in the United States, trifluoperazine is still a treatment option in some jurisdictions because of its low cost and observed efficacy when combined with other psychotropic medications.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

  1. Introduction

  2. Pharmacological Profile, Dosing, Uses, and Warnings

    1. Dosing for Non-psychotic Anxiety and Schizophrenia

    2. Dosing Adjustment: Geriatric Patients

    3. Dosing Adjustment: Hepatic and Renal Impairment

    4. Contraindications and Adverse Effects

  3. Warnings and Precautions of Trifluoperazine Use

    1. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

    2. Drug-Drug Interactions

    3. Withdrawal/Discontinuation

  4. Trifluoperazine Overdose

  5. Case Study: Trifluoperazine

    1. Case Study 1: Antipsychotic Drug Use and Hypokalemia

    2. Case Study 2: Depressive Episode

  6. Summary


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