Trilafon® (perphenazine)

Brand name:

Pronounced: TRILL-ah-fon
Generic name: Perphenazine

Why is Trilafon prescribed?

Trilafon is used to treat schizophrenia and to control severe nausea and vomiting in adults. It is a member of the phenothiazine family of antipsychotic medications, which includes such drugs as Mellaril, Stelazine, and Thorazine.
Most important fact about Trilafon

Trilafon can cause tardive dyskinesia, a condition marked by involuntary muscle spasms and twitches in the face and body, including chewing movements, puckering, puffing the cheeks, and sticking out the tongue. This condition may be permanent and appears to be most common among older adults, especially older women. Ask your doctor for more information about this possible risk.
How should you take Trilafon?

Trilafon should be taken exactly according to physician instructions and for no longer than necessary.

–If you miss a dose…

If it is within an hour or so after the scheduled time, take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until later, skip the dose and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at once.

–Storage instructions…

Trilafon should be stored at room temperature.
Trilafon side effects

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe to continue taking Trilafon.

* Side effects may include:
Aching or numbness of the limbs, brain swelling, breast milk production, diarrhea, drowsiness, dry mouth, low blood pressure upon standing, nausea, rapid or irregular heartbeat, restlessness, salivation, seizures, vomiting

Why should Trilafon not be prescribed?

People who are comatose or who are at reduced levels of consciousness or alertness should not take Trilafon. Nor should those who are taking large amounts of any substance that slows brain function, including barbiturates, alcohol, narcotics, pain killers, and antihistamines.

Trilafon should also be avoided by people who have blood disorders, liver problems, or brain damage It cannot be taken by anyone who is hypersensitive to its ingredients or to related drugs.
Special warnings about Trilafon

Use Trilafon with caution if you have any of the following: glaucoma (high pressure in the eye); difficulty urinating; breast cancer; breathing problems; or heart, liver, kidney, or thyroid disease. Caution is also advised if you are exposed to extreme heat or pesticides. Be aware that Trilafon may mask signs of brain tumor, intestinal blockage, and overdose of other drugs.

Drugs such as Trilafon can trigger a potentially fatal condition known as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS). Symptoms include high fever, muscle rigidity, unstable blood pressure, rapid or irregular heartbeat, and excessive sweating. If any of these symptoms develop, see your doctor immediately.

Trilafon should be used cautiously in people who are severely depressed and may be at risk for suicide. These patients should be watched closely for signs of suicidal thoughts and behavior. The doctor will prescribe the lowest amount of drug possible to avoid the risk of overdose.

While taking Trilafon, you may feel dizzy or light-headed or actually faint when getting up from a lying or sitting position. If getting up more slowly doesn’t help or if the problem continues, contact your doctor.

Also report any significant increase in body temperature to the doctor. It could be an early warning that you cannot tolerate the drug.

Alert your physician before taking Trilafon if you are going through alcohol withdrawal, suffer from convulsions or seizures, or have a depressive disorder. You’ll have to use the drug with caution.

Trilafon could make you more sensitive to sunlight. Be sure to stay out of the sun, wear protective clothing, and use sunblock.

Tell the doctor or dentist you’re taking Trilafon before having any surgery, dental work, or diagnostic procedure. Trilafon could interact with anesthetics, muscle relaxants, and other drugs used during surgical procedures.

Be aware that Trilafon may impair the mental or physical abilities needed to drive a car or operate heavy machinery. Avoid activities that require full alertness until you know how the drug affects you.

Stomach inflammation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and tremors may result if Trilafon is stopped suddenly. Therapy should be discontinued only under a doctor’s supervision.

Trilafon is not recommended for children under the age of 12 years.
Possible food and drug interactions when taking Trilafon

If Trilafon is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Trilafon with the following:

Antidepressants such as Elavil, Nardil, Prozac, and Triavil
Antihistamines such as Benadryl and Tavist
Antipsychotic medications such as Mellaril and chlorpromazine
Antiseizure drugs such as Dilantin
Atropine (Donnatal)
Barbiturates such as Nembutal and Seconal
Blood pressure medications
Drugs that quell spasms, such as Levsin
Narcotic painkillers such as Percodan and Vicodin
Phosphorus insecticides
Tranquilizers and sleep aids such as Halcion, Valium, and Xanax

Extreme drowsiness and other potentially serious effects can result if Trilafon is combined with alcohol or other central nervous system depressants such as narcotics, painkillers, and sleep medications.
Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Trilafon may cause false-positive results on pregnancy tests. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. The safe use of Trilafon during pregnancy has not been established. The benefits of using Trilafon must be weighed against the possible hazards to the mother and child.

Drugs similar to Trilafon appear in breast milk. If this medication is essential to your health, the doctor may advise you to avoid breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.
Recommended dosage for Trilafon

The dosage of Trilafon is adjusted according to the severity of the condition and the drug’s effect. Doctors aim for the lowest effective dose.


The usual initial dosage of Trilafon tablets is 4 to 8 milligrams 3 times daily, up to a maximum daily dose of 24 milligrams. Hospitalized patients are usually given 8 to 16 milligrams 2 to 4 times daily, up to a maximum daily dose of 64 milligrams.


For this problem, the usual dosage of Trilafon tablets is 8 to 16 milligrams daily divided into smaller doses. Up to 24 milligrams daily is occasionally necessary.

Anyone suspected of overdosing on Trilafon should be hospitalized immediately for emergency treatment.

* Usual symptoms of Trilafon overdose include:
Stupor, coma, convulsions (in children)

Victims may also exhibit symptoms such as rigid muscles, twitches and involuntary movements, hair-trigger reflexes, loss of coordination, rolling eyeballs, and slurred speech.

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