Fluanxol (generically known as Flupenthixol) is an antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia and depression. It can be used for the long-term treatment of other mental illnesses with disturbances in thinking, emotional reactions, and behavior.
Flupenthixol belongs to the thioxanthene class of drugs. It works by blocking the effects of dopamine in the brain and reducing psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions.
Use and Dosage
Fluanxol comes in the form of a tablet to be taken by mouth. However, follow your doctor’s instructions for how to use the medication, including the correct dosage, frequency, and duration of treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about how to use Fluanxol tablets, please speak with your doctor or healthcare provider.
The recommended starting dose of flupenthixol tablets is 1 mg 3 times a day. The doctor may increase this dose every 2 or 3 days depending on how you are doing. The usual maintenance dose is 3 mg to 6 mg daily, taken in divided doses.
Do not stop taking the tablet without talking to your doctor. If this medication is stopped suddenly, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, trouble sleeping, or loss of appetite. If you plan to stop the medication, your doctor may want you to reduce the dose gradually to reduce the severity of withdrawal effects.
Common Side Effects of Fluanxol (Flupenthixol):
- Changes in menstrual periods
- Decreased interest in sexual activity
- Decreased sexual ability
- Dry mouth
- Increased production of saliva
- Increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
- Increased sweating
- Swelling of breasts (in men and women)
- Unusual secretion of milk
- Weight changes
Serious Side Effects of Fluanxol (Flupenthixol):
- Abdominal pain
- Blurred vision or other eye problems
- Chewing movements
- Circular eye movement
- Dark urine
- Difficult urination
- Difficulty breathing
- Excessive eating
- Fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Infections, fruity breath odor
- Lip smacking or puckering
- Loss of appetite
- Mask-like face
- Muscle spasms, especially of the neck and back
- New or worsening constipation
- Poor wound healing
- Puffing cheeks
- Redness in the arm or leg
- Severe restlessness or need to keep moving
- Shuffling walk
- Skin rash
- Stiffness of arms and legs
- Tiredness or weakness
- Trembling and shaking of fingers and hands
- Twisting movements
- Unexplained weight loss
- Yellowing of skin or whites of eyes
Forms and Strength
Fluanxol (Flupenthixol) is available in the following forms and strength:
- 0.5 mg
- 3 mg
- Fluanxol may cause tardive dyskinesia, a condition that causes involuntary movements of the face and tongue. This condition may be irreversible and may occur after long-term use of Fluanxol.
- Fluanxol may cause extrapyramidal symptoms such as dystonia, akathisia, and Parkinsonism. These symptoms may be relieved with the withdrawal of the drug or with the use of anticholinergic drugs.
- Fluanxol should not be used in patients with severe liver disease or in the presence of liver enzyme abnormalities.
- Fluanxol may cause a decrease in white blood cell count, which can increase the risk of infections or affect the body’s immune system. Complete blood counts and monitoring of patients for signs of infection are recommended.
- Fluanxol may cause hypotension, especially during the initial treatment period, therefore, blood pressure monitoring is important.
- Fluanxol should be used with caution in patients with a history of epilepsy or convulsive seizures.
- Fluanxol has sedative effects and should be used with caution in elderly patients or in patients with a history of cardiac disease.
- Fluanxol may interact with other medications, inform the doctor about all the medications that the patient is taking before starting Fluanxol.
- Fluanxol may cause neuroleptic malignant syndrome, which is a potentially life-threatening condition that can occur with antipsychotic medication use. Symptoms may include high fever, muscle rigidity, and altered mental state. Immediate medical attention is required if these symptoms occur.
- Fluanxol may cause a decrease in seizure threshold, therefore, it should be used with caution in patients with a history of seizures.
- Fluanxol may cause hyperprolactinemia, which is an increase in the hormone prolactin. This may cause symptoms such as breast enlargement, menstrual changes, and sexual dysfunction.
- Fluanxol may cause cataracts or other eye problems, so regular eye examinations are recommended for patients taking Fluanxol long-term.
- Fluanxol may increase the risk of falls in elderly patients due to its sedative effects and the risk of orthostatic hypotension, which is a drop in blood pressure when standing up.
- Fluanxol may cause QT prolongation, which can lead to a serious irregular heartbeat. Therefore, Fluanxol should be used with caution in patients with a history of heart problems.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How long does it take for Fluanxol to work?
The onset of action for Fluanxol may vary depending on the individual and the severity of their symptoms. It may take several days or weeks to see an improvement in symptoms.
Can Fluanxol be used for anxiety?
Fluanxol is not typically used to treat anxiety. It is primarily used to treat psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.
Is Fluanxol addictive?
Fluanxol is not considered to be addictive. However, some individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking the medication suddenly.
Can Fluanxol be used in children?
Fluanxol is not typically used to treat children. Its safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been fully established.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Fluanxol?
If you miss a dose of Fluanxol, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.