Perphenazine (By mouth)


Perphenazine (per-FEN-a-zeen)

Treats the symptoms of certain mental disorders. May also be used to treat nausea and vomiting in adult patients. Belongs to a class of drugs called phenothiazines.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to perphenazine or related medicines (such as Prolixin®, Stelazine®, or Compazine®). You should not use perphenazine if you have a blood disorder, a bone marrow disorder, or liver damage.

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet, Liquid

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take and how often. You should not use more of this medcine than your doctor tells you to.
  • You may take your medicine with food to avoid stomach upset.
  • Mix the oral liquid with water, 7-Up®, milk, orange soda pop, or pineapple, apricot, prune, orange, V-8®, tomato, or grapefruit juices. Do not mix with coffee, tea, cola, or apple juice.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take your medicine as soon as you remember that you have missed your dose.
  • If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose.
  • You should not use two doses at one time.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Keep your medicine at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze the oral liquid.
  • Keep all medicine away from children.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not drink alcohol or take drugs that can make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, sleeping pills, sedatives, muscle relaxants, tranquilizers, or narcotic pain killers).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before taking this medicine.
  • Check with your doctor before taking perphenazine if you have heart, liver, or kidney disease, seizures, depression, or glaucoma.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Try not to spend long periods in direct sunlight and protect your skin from the sun.
  • While taking this medicine, you might become more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. Dress warmly in cold weather and don't stay outside too long. Avoid becoming overheated during hot weather.
  • This medicine may cause drowsiness and blurred vision. Be careful if you are driving or using dangerous machinery.
  • Dizziness from this medicine may be avoided by getting up slowly from a lying or sitting position.
  • There is a risk of side effects that include muscle spasms, twitching in the face and body, and uncontrolled tongue or jaw movement. Talk to your doctor about this risk.
  • If you have taken perphenazine for a long time or in large doses, do not suddenly stop taking it without checking with your doctor. You may need to take smaller and smaller doses before stopping completely.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • Trouble breathing
  • Uncontrollable movement of the tongue, cheeks, jaw, or arms
  • Seizures
  • Unexplained fever and sore throat, unusual bruising
  • Severe muscle stiffness
  • Yellow eyes or skin
  • Severe stomach pain or constipation
  • Skin rash, itching, or blistering

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Drowsiness, dizziness, or tiredness
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Stuffy nose
  • Weight gain
  • Changes in menstrual cycle
  • Loss of interest in sex or loss of ability to have sex
  • Loss of appetite
  • Blurred vision

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission ( URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

Average rating (0)