Reviewed on 3/29/2022

What Is Trifluoperazine and How Does It Work?

Trifluoperazine is a prescription medicine used to treat anxiety and schizophrenia.

  • Trifluoperazine is available under the following different brand names: Stelazine

What Are Dosages of Trifluoperazine?

Adult and pediatric dosage


  • 1mg
  • 2mg
  • 5mg
  • 10mg


Adult and geriatric dosage


  • 1-2 mg orally every 12 hours


  • Initial: 2-5 mg orally every 12 hours
  • Maintenance Dose: 15-20 mg/day
  • Not to exceed 40mg/day

Pediatric dosage


  • Children below 6 years: Safety and efficacy not established
  • Children between 6 to 12 years: 1 mg orally once daily or every 12 hours; not to exceed 15 mg/day
  • Children above 12 years: 2-5 mg orally every 12 hours

Non Psychotic Anxiety

Adult and geriatric dosage

  • 1-2 mg orally every 12 hours
  • Maximum Dose: 6 mg/day; not to exceed 12 weeks

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows: 

  • See “Dosages”

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Trifluoperazine?

Common side effects of Trifluoperazine include:

  • drowsiness,
  • dizziness,
  • anxiety,
  • dry mouth,
  • stuffy nose,
  • blurred vision,
  • headache,
  • tiredness,
  • constipation,
  • weight gain,
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia),
  • breast swelling or discharge,
  • missed menstrual periods,
  • swelling in the hands or feet,
  • impotence, or
  • trouble having an orgasm.

Serious side effects of Trifluoperazine include:

  • twitching or uncontrollable movements of the eyes, lips, tongue, face, arms, or legs,
  • tremors
  • drooling, 
  • trouble swallowing, 
  • problems with balance or walking,
  • very stiff (rigid) muscles, 
  • high fever, 
  • sweating,
  • confusion, 
  • fast or uneven heartbeats, 
  • feeling like passing out,
  • seizures,
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes,
  • urinating less than usual or not at all,
  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding,
  • joint pain,
  • swelling with fever, 
  • swollen glands, 
  • muscle aches, 
  • chest pain, 
  • vomiting,
  • unusual thoughts or behavior,
  • patchy skin color,
  • slow heart rate, 
  • weak pulse, and
  • fainting, or slow breathing (breathing may stop).

Rare side effects of Trifluoperazine include:

  • none 
This is not a complete list of side effects and other serious side effects or health problems that may occur as a result of the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may report side effects or health problems to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment See Slideshow

What Other Drugs Interact with Trifluoperazine?

If your medical doctor is using this medicine to treat your pain, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider, or pharmacist first.

  • Trifluoperazine has severe interactions with the following drugs:
  • Trifluoperazine has serious interactions with at least 77 other drugs.
  • Trifluoperazine has moderate interactions with at least 311 other drugs.
  • Trifluoperazine has minor interactions with at least 61 other drugs. 

This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker for any drug interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions, concerns.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Trifluoperazine?


  • Documented hypersensitivity to phenothiazines
  • Coma, severe hypotension, severe CNS depression, concurrency with large amounts of CNS depressants, poorly controlled seizure disorder, subcortical brain damage, severe cardiovascular disease, blood dyscrasias
  • Lactation

Effects of drug abuse

  • None

Short-Term Effects

  • See “What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Trifluoperazine?”

Long-Term Effects

  • See “What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Trifluoperazine?”


Pregnancy and Lactation

  • Use with caution if benefits outweigh risks during pregnancy
  • Neonates exposed to antipsychotic drugs during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy are at risk for extrapyramidal and/or withdrawal symptoms following delivery
  • These complications vary in severity; in some cases, symptoms have been self-limited, while in other cases neonates have required intensive care unit support and prolonged hospitalization
  • Lactation
    • Unknown 


Schizophrenia is the most disabling mental illness. See Answer
Medscape. Trifluoperazine.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors