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Fluanxol

Generic Name: Flupenthixol decanoate
Product Name: Fluanxol

Indication

Fluanxol is used for the long-term treatment of schizophrenia, a mental illness with disturbances in thinking, emotional reactions and behaviour, and other chronic mental conditions.

 

Action

Fluanxol belongs to a group of medicines called thioxanthene neuroleptics. It helps to correct chemical imbalances in the brain, which may cause mental illness.

Dose advice

Dose information:

  • Your doctor will decide what dose you will receive. This depends on your condition and other factors, such as your weight and your response to the medicine.
  • Fluanxol is given as an injection into a large muscle where it is slowly released over time. The injection should only be given by a doctor, nurse or other trained person.
  • It is recommended that Fluanxol is given every 2 to 4 weeks.
  • Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any worm-like movements of the tongue, or other uncontrolled movements of the tongue, mouth, cheeks or jaw which may progress to the arms and legs.
  • Keep all of your doctor’s appointments so that your progress can be checked. Your doctor may do some blood and liver tests from time to time, particularly during the first months of therapy, to make sure the medicine is working and to prevent unwanted side effects.
  • Do not miss any injections, even if you feel better. Fluanxol helps control your condition, but does not cure it. 
  • Fluanxol may cause drowsiness, tiredness, sleepiness or blurred vision in some people. Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Fluanxol affects you.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while you are using Fluanxol as it may worsen drowsiness or sleepiness.
  • Standing up slowly, especially when you get up from bed or chairs, will help your body get used to the change in position and blood pressure.

Contraindications:

Do not use Fluanxol if you

  • have an allergy to Fluanxol and its excipient, fractionated coconut oil
  • have allergy to medicines which contain thioxanthenes or phenothiazines
  • collapse due to very low blood pressure
  • have depression of the central nervous system due to any cause
  • have brain damage
  • have diseases of the blood with a reduced number of red or white blood cells or platelets
  • have phaeochromocytoma

Precautions:

Caution should be exercised in

  • if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions: liver problems, decreased blood supply to the brain, organic brain syndrome, kidney problems, heart and blood vessel problems, parkinsonismarteriosclerosis, a disease affecting the arteries, fits or seizures, glaucoma, tardive dyskinesia, diabetes.
  • if you will be in a hot environment or you do a lot of vigorous exercise
  • if you are exposed to pesticides that contain phosphorus
  • if you are taking any other medicines, including medicines that you get without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop

Use in pregnancy (Category C):

Like most antipsychotic medicines, Fluanxol is not recommended for use during pregnancy, since safety in pregnancy has not been established. However, if you need to be given Fluanxol during pregnancy, your doctor can discuss with you the benefits and risks involved.

Lactation:

It is recommended that you do not breast-feed while using Fluanxol. Its active ingredient passes into breast milk and therefore there is a possibility that your baby may be affected.

Schedule

Fluanxol is Schedule 4.

Common side effects

All medicines have side effects. Most commonly the side effects are minor, however some can be more serious. Usually the benefits of taking a medication outweigh the associated side effects. Your doctor would have considered these side effects before starting you on Fluanxol.

Common side effects are those which occur in more than 1% of patients given Fluanxol. These include:

  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Tiredness, sleepiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Weight changes
  • Breast enlargement in men
  • Impaired sexual function
  • Unusual secretion of breast milk
  • Change in your menstrual periods

Uncommon side effects

Side effects which occur in less than 1% of patients given Fluanxol are considered uncommon. Patients do not necessarily experience any of these side effects, so do not become alarmed by this list:

  • Worm-like movements of the tongue or other uncontrolled movements of the mouth, tongue, cheeks or jaws, which may progress to the arms and legs
  • Sudden onset of unusual movements, including trembling and shaking of the hands and fingers, twisting movements of the body, or shuffling walk and stiffness of the arms and legs
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Changes in heart rate and blood pressure
  • Fainting
  • Yellowing of the skin and/or eyes
  • Severe pain in the stomach with bloating, gut cramps and vomiting
  • High pressure in the eye
  • Blurred vision or difficulty focusing
  • Tiredness, headaches, dizziness, being short of breath when exercising and looking pale
  • Frequent infections such as fever, severe chills, sore throat or mouth ulcers
  • Bleeding or bruising more easily than normal, nosebleeds
  • Sudden increase in body temperature, extremely high blood pressure and severe convulsions
  • Sudden signs of allergy such as rash, itching or hives on the skin, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body, shortness of breath, wheezing or trouble breathing

If you experience any of the listed side effects, or any other symptoms which appear abnormal or unusual, please tell your doctor.

References

  1. Australian Medicines Handbook. Fluanxol. January 2008 [cited 2008 July 14]. Available from URL: http://amh.hcn.net.au
  2. MIMS Online. Fluanxol. 26 February 2007 [cited 2008 July 14]. Available from URL: http://mims.hcn.net.au

 

For further information talk to your doctor.

Dates

Posted On: 22 July, 2003
Modified On: 16 July, 2008
Reviewed On: 13 July, 2008

 



Created by: myVMC
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