What should I watch for?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. It may be several weeks before you see the full effects of this medicine.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
This medicine can reduce the response of your body to heat or cold. Dress warm in cold weather and stay hydrated in hot weather. If possible, avoid extreme temperatures like saunas, hot tubs, very hot or cold showers, or activities that can cause dehydration such as vigorous exercise.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.
Common and Rare Side Effects
Along with their needed effects, thioxanthenes can sometimes cause serious side effects. Tardive dyskinesia (a movement disorder) may occur and may not go away after you stop using the medicine. Signs of tardive dyskinesia include fine, worm-like movements of the tongue, or other uncontrolled movements of the mouth, tongue, cheeks, jaw, or arms and legs. Other serious but rare side effects may also occur. Some of these side effects, including severe muscle stiffness, fever, unusual tiredness or weakness, fast heartbeat, difficult breathing, increased sweating, loss of bladder control, and seizures, may be the sign of a condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome. You and your doctor should discuss the good this medicine will do as well as the risks of taking it.
Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Stop taking this medicine and get emergency help immediately if any of the following effects occur:
difficulty in breathing
high or low (irregular) blood pressure
loss of bladder control
muscle stiffness (severe)
unusually pale skin
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Difficulty in talking or swallowing
inability to move eyes
lip smacking or puckering
loss of balance control
muscle spasms, especially of the neck and back
puffing of cheeks
rapid or worm-like movements of tongue
restlessness or need to keep moving (severe)
stiffness of arms and legs
trembling and shaking of fingers and hands
twisting movements of body
uncontrolled chewing movements
uncontrolled movements of the arms and legs
Blurred vision or other eye problems
Hot, dry skin or lack of sweating
increased blinking or spasms of eyelid
uncontrolled twisting movements of neck, trunk, arms, or legs
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual facial expressions or body positions
yellow eyes or skin
Symptoms of overdose
Difficulty in breathing (severe)
muscle trembling, jerking, stiffness, or uncontrolled movements (severe)
unusual tiredness or weakness (severe)
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
dryness of mouth
increased appetite and weight
increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight (skin rash, itching, redness or other discoloration of skin, or severe sunburn)
Changes in menstrual period
decreased sexual ability
swelling of breasts (in males and females)
unusual secretion of milk
After you stop taking this medicine your body may need time to adjust, especially if you took this medicine in high doses or for a long time. If you stop taking it too quickly, the following withdrawal effects may occur and should be reported to your doctor:
trembling of fingers and hands
uncontrolled, continuing movements of mouth, tongue, or jaw
Although not all of the side effects listed above have been reported for all thioxanthenes, they have been reported for at least one of them. However, since these medicines are very similar, any of the above side effects may occur with any of them.
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.