Chlorpromazine is a medication that is prescribed to treat symptoms of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. It is also used to treat mania episodes in those with bipolar disorder. Sometimes, the drug is also prescribed for children with severe behavioral issues like explosive, aggressive behavior, and hyperactivity.

Children prescribed this medication for those issues are generally 12 years old and younger. The medication may also be used for some physical problems, including nausea, vomiting, hiccup relief for those that have lasted more than a month, restlessness, less severe cases of intermittent porphyria, and tetanus

Chlorpromazine is a part of the conventional antipsychotic drug class. The medication activates natural substances in the brain and other body parts.

Precautions and Warnings of Chlorpromazine

Those with histories of medical issues should be cautious of the medication and talk to a doctor first if they have had a history of:

  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Heart problems
  • Low blood pressure
  • Glaucoma
  • Seizures
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Difficulties breathing
  • Blood-related issues
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Alcohol or substance abuse disorders
  • Parkinson’s disease

Heart Complications

Chlorpromazine is also known to cause QT prolongation – a condition that affects the rhythm of the heart. These occurrences are rarely fatal; A doctor should be contacted if the user experiences fast or irregular heartbeats, severe dizziness, or fainting. These are indications that medical attention should be sought right away. The risk of this cognition is increased with certain medical conditions, other drug use, low levels of potassium, and low levels of magnesium.

Sunlight Sensitivity

Increased sunlight sensitivity has also been known to occur with Chlorpromazine. Those taking the medication should reduce their time in direct sunlight and avoid tanning lights. Sunscreen and protective clothing should be worn outdoors. If redness or skin blisters begin to appear, a doctor should be contacted immediately.

Increased Risk of Overheating

Chlorpromazine also reduces sweat production. Those taking the medication are at higher risk of heat stroke and should remain hydrated. They should also refrain from situations where they may overheat, such as intense labor, workouts, or being in hot environments.

Sensitive Age Groups

Children and older adults are most at risk for complications, most commonly involuntary movements. Children may be at the highest risk of experiencing side effects, which are increased when sick. Older adults are also at increased risk of side effects, especially dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, involuntary movements, constipation, difficulty urinating, blurred vision, and QT prolongation.

Risk During Pregnancy

Pregnant mothers are advised to avoid Chlorpromazine close to their anticipated delivery date. This may result in lower pressure in the mother. While an uncommon occurrence, if the mother has taken this medication within the last three months of pregnancy, there is also a chance the baby develops symptoms of muscle stiffness, shakiness, fatigue, feeding difficulties, difficulties breathing, or constant crying. Mothers should also refrain from breastfeeding while on Chlorpromazine as it may pass into the breast milk and harm the infant.

Dementia Patients

Some rare but possible fatal side effects may occur while taking Chlorpromazine in patients with dementia. Chlorpromazine should not be taken for dementia-related behavioral issues. A doctor should always be consulted first before taking the medication. The symptoms include:

  • Heart failure
  • Fast/irregular heartbeat
  • Pneumonia

Chlorpromazine Side Effects

Many side effects of Chlromazine do not call for medical attention, such as weight gain, dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, and dry mouth. There are some also more uncommon side effects that do require immediate medical attention, Including:

  • Allergic reactions: may appear as skin rashes, itchiness, hives, and swelling on the face or mouth
  • Signs of infection: may appear as fever, chills, coughs, or sore throat
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome: often indicated by high fever, stiff muscles, increased sweating, irregular heartbeat, or confusion
  • High prolactin level: indicated by unexpected breast tissue growth, nipple discharge, change in sex drive, or irregular menstrual cycles
  • Liver injury: indicated by right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing skin or eyes, unusual weakness, or fatigue
  • Low blood pressure: indicated by dizziness, feeling faint, lightheadedness, or blurred vision
  • Extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS): may appear as repetitive, uncontrolled body movements, muscle stiffness, muscle spasms, tremors, shaking, loss of balance, loss of coordination, restlessness, or shuffled walk

Chlorpromazine Drug Interactions

Some drugs can have harmful interactions with Chlorpromazine. Dangerous interactions can mainly occur with other medicines that cause drowsiness, such as opioid medications, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, or medicine for anxiety or seizures. Chlorpromazine may also have other harmful interactions with prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Alcohol consumption should also be avoided while on Chlorpromazine, as it may cause involuntary movements, agitation, seizures, severe dizziness, fainting, coma, profound sleep, irregular heartbeats, and high or low body temperature.

Some of the most frequently checked drug interactions with significant side effects include Haldol (haloperidol) and Lexapro (escitalopram). It is also known to have moderate interactions with:

  • Abilify (aripiprazole)
  • Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine)
  • Ambien (zolpidem)
  • Ativan (lorazepam)
  • Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine)
  • Depakote (divalproex sodium)
  • Klonopin (clonazepam)
  • Lamictal (lamotrigine)
  • Latuda (lurasidone)
  • Lithium Carbonate ER (lithium)
  • Lyrica (pregabalin)
  • Prozac (fluoxetine)
  • Risperdal (risperidone)
  • Seroquel (quetiapine)
  • Valium (diazepam)
  • Valproate Sodium (valproic acid)
  • Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)
  • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Zofran (ondansetron)
  • Zoloft (sertraline)
  • Zyprexa (olanzapine)

Chlorpromazine Strengths and Dosages

Different doses of Chlorpromazine may be prescribed based on weight, age, method of administration, and what it is being used for. Safety and efficiency have yet to be determined for those under six months old.

Use Adult Dose Pediatric Dose
Schizophrenia and Psychotic Disorders Oral Tablet: An initial 30-75 mg/day, every 6-12 hours.


Typically increased to 200 mg/day, but can go up to 800 mg/day in some cases.


Injection: An initial 25 mg followed by 25-50 mg after 1-4 hours as needed.


Increased to 400 mg every 4-6 hours until the patient is controlled. Typically 300-800 mg/day.

Oral Tablet: N/A


Injection: N/A

Nausea/Vomiting Oral Tablet: 10-25 mg every 4-6 hours as necessary.


Injection: 25-50 mg every 4-6 hours as necessary.

Oral Tablet: 0.5-1 mg/kg every 6-8 hours as necessary for those six months of age and older.


Injection: 0.5-1 mg/kg every 6-8 hours as necessary for those six months of age and older.

Preoperative Apprehension Oral Tablet: 25-50 mg 2-3 hours before surgery.


Injection: 12.5-25 mg 1-2 hours before surgery

Oral Tablet: 0.55 mg/kg 1-2 hours before surgery for those six months of age and older.


Injection: 0.55 mg/kg 1-2 hours before surgery for those six months of age and older.

Intraoperative Sedation Oral Tablet: N/A


Injection: 12.5 mg every 30 minutes or 2 mg every 2 minutes. May not exceed 25 mtg total.

Oral Tablet: N/A


Injection: N/A

Intractable Hiccups Oral Tablet: 25-50 mg every 6-8 hours. If symptoms persist after 2-3 days, this is increased to every 3-4 hours.


Injection: If symptoms persist after oral dose, 25-50 mg by slow IV infusion may be administered and closely monitored.

Oral Tablet: N/A


Injection: N/A

Acute Intermittent Porphyria Oral Tablet: 25-50 mg every 6-8 hours.


Injection: N/A

Oral Tablet: N/A


Injection: N/A

Migraine Headache (Off-label) Oral Tablet: N/A


Injection: A single dose of 5-50 mg.

Oral Tablet: N/A


Injection: N/A

Behavioral Disorders and Hyperactivity Oral Tablet: N/A


Injection: N/A

Oral Tablet: For those six months and older, 50-100 mg/day may be administered.


200 mg/day or more may be given to older hospitalized patients


Outpatients may be given 0.55 mg/kg every 4-6 hours.


Injection: 50-100 mg/day may be administered for those six months and older.


200 mg/day or more may be given to older hospitalized patients


Outpatients may be given 0.55 mg/kg every 4-6 hours.

Price of Chlorpromazine in America

The price of Chlorpromazine in America depends on the dose, pharmacy, and whether it is taken orally or by injection. For 25mg oral tablets, the average cost of a 50-tablet supply is $131.75. The 25mg/mL injectable solution costs around $746.16 for 25 mL. The average cost for other types is as follows:

  • 30mg/mL oral concentrate – $545.00 for 120mL
  • 100mg/mL oral concentrate – $2,304.50 for 240mL
  • 10mg oral tablet – $138.71 for 100 tablets
  • 50mg oral tablet – $201.90 for 100 tablets
  • 100mg oral tablet – $377.95 for 100 tablets
  • 200mg oral tablet – $365.54 for 20 tablets

Chlorpromazine Alternatives

Some possible prescription alternatives to Chlorpromazine include Vraylar (cariprazine) and Seroquel (quetiapine).

  • Vraylar – an atypical antipsychotic prescribed for schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder. It’s generally well-tolerated and less likely to cause blood sugar or cholesterol elevations, sedation, or weight gain.
  • Seroquel – an antipsychotic used to calm psychotic thoughts. It is often chosen for its soothing effects but requires caution due to its potential to lower blood pressure. It is often prescribed for bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and schizophrenia.

Chlorpromazine FAQ

Are there any dietary restrictions for Chlorpromazine?

There are no specific dietary restrictions for what to eat for those taking Chlorpromazine unless a doctor says explicitly so otherwise. However, those taking Chlorpromazine should refrain from drinking alcohol, as it may cause involuntary movements, coma, irregular body temperatures and heartbeats, dizziness, seizures, and other harmful interactions.

How long does chlorpromazine stay in your system after taking it?

Symptom changes may begin within a few days of taking Chlorpromazine. However, the full effect of the drug will not be apparent until several weeks after starting.

Discontinuing chlorpromazine can still have lingering effects for days, with complete elimination taking weeks. Stopping abruptly can lead to unpleasant physical and mental impacts regardless of the progress the drug has already made.

How should Chlorpromazine be stored?

Chlorpromazine should be kept in a cool and dry place, out of direct sunlight. The liquid solution versions should not be frozen. It should also be stored out of the reach of children.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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