Perphenazine (Trilafon) – Side Effects, Interactions, Uses, Dosage, Warnings

Perphenazine is a phenothiazine (FEEN-oh-THYE-a-zeen) anti-psychotic medicine.

Perphenazine is used to treat psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. It is also used to control severe nausea and vomiting.

Perphenazine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


What is Perphenazine (Trilafon) used for?

  • Dementia
  • Mania
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Alcoholic Psychosis
  • Drug-Induced Psychosis
  • Depressive Psychosis
  • Arteriosclerotic Dementia
  • Arteriosclerotic Dementia w/ Depressive Features
  • Dementia w/ Depressive Features
  • Alcoholic Dementia
  • Drug-Induced Dementia


What is the most important information I should know about Perphenazine (Trilafon)?

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to any phenothiazine (such as perphenazine, chlorpromazine, prochlorperazine, promethazine, o thioridazine), or if you have:

  • liver disease;
  • brain damage;
  • bone marrow depression;
  • a blood cell disorder (such as low platelets or low red or white blood cell counts); or
  • if you are also using large amounts of alcohol or medicines that make you sleepy.

Perphenazine may increase the risk of death in older adults with dementia-related psychosis and is not approved for this use.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • severe or untreated depression;
  • heart disease or high blood pressure;
  • kidney disease;
  • severe asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problem;
  • seizures;
  • Parkinson's disease;
  • breast cancer;
  • adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma);
  • enlarged prostate or urination problems;
  • low levels of calcium in your blood (hypocalcemia);
  • glaucoma; or
  • a serious side effect while using perphenazine or another phenothiazine.

Tell your doctor if you will be exposed to extreme heat or cold, or to insecticide poisons while you are taking perphenazine.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or you become pregnant. Taking antipsychotic medicine in the last 3 months of pregnancy may cause breathing problems, feeding problems, or withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

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Side Effects

What are the side effects of Perphenazine (Trilafon)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

High doses or long-term use of perphenazine can cause a serious movement disorder that may not be reversible. The longer you use perphenazine, the more likely you are to develop this disorder, especially if you are a woman or an older adult.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • uncontrolled muscle movements in your arms or legs, or your face (chewing, lip smacking, frowning, tongue movement, blinking or eye movement);
  • worsening symptoms of schizophrenia;
  • confusion, paranoia, feeling restless or excited;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes);
  • little or no urinating;
  • slow heart rate, weak pulse, weak or shallow breathing;
  • low white blood cell counts–fever, chills, mouth sores, skin sores, sore throat, cough, trouble breathing, feeling light-headed; or
  • severe nervous system reaction–very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats.

Side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, tremors, and drowsiness may be more likely in older adults.

Common side effects may include:

  • mild dizziness or drowsiness;
  • blurred vision, headache;
  • sleep problems (insomnia), strange dreams;
  • loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation;
  • increased sweating or urination;
  • dry mouth or stuffy nose;
  • breast swelling or discharge; or
  • mild itching or skin rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Can I take Perphenazine (Trilafon) if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or you become pregnant. Taking antipsychotic medicine in the last 3 months of pregnancy may cause breathing problems, feeding problems, or withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.


What drugs and food should I avoid while taking Perphenazine (Trilafon)?

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of perphenazine.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Perphenazine can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Dosage Guidelines & Tips

How to take Perphenazine (Trilafon)?

Use Perphenazine (Trilafon) exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

You will need frequent medical tests.

If you need surgery, tell your surgeon you currently use this medicine.

Do not stop using perphenazine suddenly, or you could have unpleasant symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or tremors. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What should I do if I missed a dose of Perphenazine (Trilafon)?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

Overdose Signs

What happens if I overdose on Perphenazine (Trilafon)?

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on: Perphenazine (Trilafon),  call your doctor or the Poison Control center

(800) 222-1222

If someone collapses or isn't breathing after taking Perphenazine (Trilafon), call 911



4940, V

Color: gray

Shape: round

Form: film coated

Imprint: 4940, V

4941, V

Color: gray

Shape: round

Imprint: 4941, V

4942, V

Color: gray

Shape: round

Form: film coated

Imprint: 4942, V

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