Flupentixol long-acting injection will be given to you by your clinic doctor or nurse every 2-4 weeks.
If you miss an appointment for an injection, make another appointment as soon as possible.There are a number of side-effects which you could experience from the treatment. If you are concerned about any, you should discuss them with your doctor.
About flupentixol long-acting injection
|Type of medicine||An antipsychotic injection|
|Used for||Maintainance of symptoms in adults with schizophrenia and other similar mental health problems|
|Also called||Flupentixol decanoate: Depixol®; Psytixol®|
|Available as||Long-acting 'depot' injection|
Flupentixol belongs to a group of medicines called antipsychotics. You will have been prescribed it to maintain symptom control of schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that causes disordered ideas, beliefs and experiences. Symptoms of schizophrenia include hearing, seeing, or sensing things that are not real, having mistaken beliefs, feeling unusually suspicious, and becoming withdrawn. Flupentixol is used to relieve the symptoms of schizophrenia and other similar mental health problems. It works on the balance of chemical substances in your brain.
Long-acting, or 'depot', injections are used once your symptoms have been eased by taking tablets. The injection slowly releases flupentixol into your body and is given every 2-4 weeks. The main advantage of a depot injection is that you do not have to remember to take tablets every day.
Before having flupentixol long-acting injection
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine can only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start having flupentixol long-acting injections, it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you have a heart condition or blood vessel disease.
- If you have any problems with the way your liver works, or if you have any problems with the way your kidneys work.
- If you have prostate problems.
- If you have any problems with your breathing.
- If you have any of the following: epilepsy, sugar diabetes, depression, Parkinson's disease, raised pressure in your eye (glaucoma), thyroid problems, or a condition which causes muscle weakness, called myasthenia gravis.
- If you have ever had yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice).
- If you have a blood disorder, particularly if you have the rare inherited blood disorder called porphyria.
- If you have a tumour on your adrenal gland (a condition called phaeochromocytoma).
- If you have had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
How flupentixol long-acting injection is given
- Before you start the treatment, ask to read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The leaflet will give you more information about flupentixol, and it will also provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you could experience.
- Flupentixol long-acting injection will be given to you by a doctor or nurse. If you haven't received an injection like flupentixol before, a small dose is usually given as a test one week before you have a full dose. This is to see how well you tolerate the injection. The injection is given into a muscle in your bottom (buttocks) or upper leg.
- You may be asked to continue taking your tablets for a short while after you have had your first injection. This is because it can take a few weeks before you feel the full effect from the injection.
- Treatment with flupentixol is usually long-term so that your symptoms don't return.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Your treatment will require careful monitoring to make sure that you get the best possible benefit from flupentixol. Keep your regular doctor's appointments so that you get your injections on time, and your progress can be checked. If you miss an appointment for an injection, contact your doctor to arrange for another appointment as soon as possible.
- Flupentixol could cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight than normal. Avoid strong sunlight and sunbeds, and use a sun cream with a high sun protection factor even on bright but cloudy days.
- If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor for advice about drinking while you are on flupentixol. Alcohol can increase the chance that you experience side-effects and may not be recommended for you.
- If you have diabetes you may need to check your blood sugar (glucose) more frequently, as flupentixol can affect the levels of sugar in your blood. Your doctor will advise you about this.
- If you are having any dental treatment or an operation, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you have had a flupentixol injection. This is important because it may interfere with the anaesthetic you receive.
- If you buy or take any 'over-the-counter' medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable for you to take with flupentixol.
Can flupentixol long-acting injection cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the more common ones associated with flupentixol. The best place to find a full list of the side-effects which can be associated with your medicine, is from the manufacturer's printed information leaflet supplied with the medicine. Alternatively, you can find an example of a manufacturer's information leaflet in the reference section below. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Very common flupentixol side-effects (these affect more than 1 in 10 people)||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling sleepy||Do not drive and do not use tools or machines while affected|
|Feeling restless, movement problems||Speak with your doctor|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugar-free sweets|
|Common flupentixol side-effects (these affect less than 1 in 10 people)||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Pain at the site of the injection||This should not last long. If the area becomes red, swollen or 'lumpy', let your doctor know|
|Feeling dizzy or tired, blurred vision||Do not drive and do not use tools or machines while affected|
|Headache||Drink plenty of water and ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headache continues, speak with your doctor|
|Unusual or uncontrollable muscle movements, feeling shaky||Speak with your doctor about these|
|Increased appetite and weight, difficulty sleeping, feeling agitated or confused, mood changes (such as feeling depressed), reduced interest in sex, loss of concentration, feeling short of breath, producing more saliva than usual, fast heartbeats, stomach upset, feeling sweaty, muscle aches, and difficulty passing urine||Discuss these with your doctor if any become troublesome|
Important: if you experience symptoms such as muscle stiffness, a very high temperature, feeling confused or sweaty, a fast heartbeat, and urinary incontinence, you should contact your doctor immediately. These can be signs of a rare but serious condition known as neuroleptic malignant syndrome.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the injection, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store flupentixol long-acting injection
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
If you suspect that you have had an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital at once.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- Manufacturer's PIL, Depixol Injection®; Lundbeck Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated October 2015.
- British National Formulary; 72nd Edition (Sep 2016) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr Adrian Bonsall