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Perazine is an antipsychotic drug which is known by different trade names in different countries, according to manufacturer. It may be used orally or by injection to treat psychiatric disorders such as acute psychotic episodes and schizophrenia. It is usually available by prescription only and the prescribed dose and regimen should not be exceeded without discussion with the prescribing doctor.
The class of antipsychotic drugs to which perazine belongs is the phenothiazines. Other drugs belonging to this class include chlorpromazine and fluphenazine. The drugs belonging to this class may share a mechanism of action and potential for adverse effects, although to varying degrees.
The phenothiazines, including perazine, are thought to work by blocking dopamine receptors in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical neurotransmitter which may be overactive in people with psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. By blocking the receptors in the brain, the phenothiazines reduce the action of dopamine and control the symptoms of schizophrenia or psychosis.
The perazine dose will be established by the treating doctor, taking a number of factors into consideration including the patient’s response to the medication and tolerance of potential side effects. It may be used in the acute setting to control a psychotic episode or long-term as maintenance treatment in psychosis or schizophrenia. Perazine is used either orally or as an injection, which is usually given intra-muscularly, that is, injected into the muscle.
As with any medication, all phenothiazines, including perazine, may interact with other medications. Other prescribed medications must be discussed with the treating doctor, as should any over-the-counter, homeopathic, or complementary medications. Full disclosure of concomitant therapies will minimize the chance of an interaction between perazine and other drugs.
Side effects of perazine may include effects on the muscles or nerves, which may cause symptoms such as protrusion of the tongue, rigidity or spasming of the muscles, involuntary movements of the muscles, most commonly the face, and restlessness. Other adverse effects may include cardiovascular side effects and gastrointestinal effects. Should any adverse effect be experienced, medical attention should be sought urgently.
Due to the potential for perazine to cause a number of side effects, it may be contraindicated in patients with some underlying clinical disorders. It is for this reason that these should be disclosed to the prescribing doctor before initiation of treatment with perazine. Pregnancy, desired pregnancy and lactation should also be discussed as these may affect the choice of treatment.