Generic Name: Chlorpromazine (klor-PROE-ma-zeen)

Drug Class: Phenothiazines


Drug Uses

This medicine is used to treat psychotic disorders such as hallucinations, delusions and hostility. It may also be prescribed to prevent and treat nausea and vomiting.

General Information

This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your health care provider.

How it Works

It works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural chemicals in the brain. These chemicals are referred to as "neurotransmitters".

How to Take It

Take this medicine exactly as directed. Chlorpromazine comes as a tablet, extended-release capsule, liquid, and rectal suppository. Chlorpromazine is normally taken two to four times a day. For nausea and vomiting, it is taken every 4-6 hours as needed or every 6-8 hours (rectally) as needed. Swallow extended-release capsules whole, do not open.

Possible Side Effects

    • Chlorpromazine can cause side effects. Let your doctor know if these side effects are bothersome or don't go away:
      • difficulty urinating
      • dizziness
      • drowsiness
      • dry mouth
      • skin rash
      • constipation
      • blurred vision

    • If you experience involuntary movements, sore throat, pounding heart beat, or unusual bruising or bleeding, notify your doctor at once.


    • This medicine may cause drowsiness.

    • Do NOT drive unless you know how this medicine affects you.

    • Other sedatives can increase the drowsy effects when taken together with this medicine.

    • This medicine may reduce sweating. Be careful not to overexert yourself in hot weather.


    • Seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

    • Inform your doctor of all the medications you may use (both prescription and nonprescription), especially if you are taking any of the following:
      • anti-depressant
      • anti-anxiety drugs
      • sparfloxacin
      • grepafloxacin
      • guanethidine
      • guanadrel
      • lithium
      • metrizamide
      • cabergoline
      • tranquilizers
      • barbiturates
      • sleeping pills
      • narcotic pain medication (e.g. codeine)
      • other medicines that make you drowsy.

    • Many cough-and-cold products contain ingredients that may add a drowsiness effect. Before you use cough-and-cold medications, ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safe use of those products..

    • Promethazine can interfere with certain pregnancy tests.

Missed Dose

Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


This medicine should be taken during pregnancy only when clearly needed. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits when using this medicine during pregnancy. This medicine may be excreted in breast milk. Nursing mothers are advised to talk to their doctors before breast-feeding.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider.

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 May 2015
    Published on All rights reserved.