Fluphenazine long-acting injection will be given to you by your doctor or nurse.
If you miss an appointment for an injection, make another appointment as soon as possible.
If you start or stop smoking whilst you are being treated with fluphenazine, tell your doctor. Your dose may need to be adjusted.
About fluphenazine long-acting injection
|Type of medicine||A phenothiazine antipsychotic|
|Used for||Easing the symptoms of schizophrenia and other similar mental health problems in adults|
|Available as||Long-acting depot injection|
Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that causes disordered ideas, beliefs and experiences. Fluphenazine is used to relieve the symptoms of schizophrenia and other similar mental health problems. Such symptoms include hearing, seeing, or sensing things that are not real, having mistaken beliefs, and feeling unusually suspicious.
Fluphenazine 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 fluphenazine into your body and is given every 2-5 weeks. The main advantage of a depot injection is that you do not have to remember to take tablets every day.
Before having fluphenazine long-acting injection
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start having fluphenazine injections, it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you know you have a heart condition or blood vessel disease (such as thickening of the arteries in your head).
- If you have any problems with your liver, kidneys, thyroid, or prostate.
- If you have any breathing difficulties.
- If you have any of the following: epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, depression, glaucoma (raised pressure in your eye), or myasthenia gravis (this is a condition causing muscle weakness).
- If you have a blood disorder.
- If you have ever had jaundice (yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes).
- If you have a condition called phaeochromocytoma (a tumour on your adrenal gland).
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
- If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
How fluphenazine long-acting injection is given
- Before you start this treatment, ask to read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The leaflet will give you more information about fluphenazine and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from having it.
- Fluphenazine injection will be given to you by a doctor or nurse. If you haven't received an injection like fluphenazine before, a small dose is given as a test about a week before you have a full dose. This is to see how well you tolerate the injection. The injection is given into a muscle of your buttock (bottom).
- You may be asked to continue taking your currently prescribed 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.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Your treatment will require careful monitoring to make sure that you get the best possible benefit from fluphenazine. 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.
- Medicines similar to fluphenazine can cause people to become more sensitive to sunlight than normal. Although this has not been known to happen with fluphenazine, it is recommended that you use a sunscreen that protects against UVA light and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, until you know how your skin reacts. Do not use sunbeds.
- If you are having any dental treatment or an operation, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you have had a fluphenazine injection. This is important because it may interfere with any anaesthetic or painkillers you receive.
- If you buy or take any 'over-the-counter' medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with fluphenazine.
- If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor for advice about drinking while you are on fluphenazine. Alcohol can increase the chance that you experience side-effects and may not be recommended for you.
- Smoking can interfere with the way your body handles fluphenazine. If you start or stop smoking whilst you are having fluphenazine, make sure that you tell your doctor. It is possible that your dose will need to be adjusted.
- If you have diabetes you may need to check your blood glucose more frequently, as fluphenazine may affect the levels of sugar in your blood. Your doctor will advise you about this.
Can fluphenazine long-acting injection cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common fluphenazine side-effects||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 sleepy or dizzy, blurred vision||If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugar-free sweets|
|Changes in weight, difficulty sleeping, feeling agitated or confused, changes in sexual ability, breast changes, menstrual problems, fast heartbeats, stomach upset, constipation, feeling shaky, and difficulty passing urine||Discuss these with your doctor if any become troublesome|
Important: your doctor will discuss with you the possibility of unwanted side-effects that you must let your doctor know about straightaway. Contact your doctor without delay if you experience any of the following:
- 'Flu-like' symptoms including muscle stiffness, a high temperature, confusion, a fast heartbeat and sweating. These may be signs of a rare but serious condition known as neuroleptic malignant syndrome.
- Any abnormal face or body movements, or any involuntary muscle movements. These are called extrapyramidal symptoms.
- A feeling of restlessness (such as not being able to sit or stand still). This is called akathisia.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store fluphenazine 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.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- Manufacturer's PIL, Modecate Injection® 25 mg/ml; Sanofi, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated January 2013.
- British National Formulary; 65th Edition (Mar 2013) 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 make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr John Cox