Health Guide

Chlorpromazine (Into the rectum)

Chlorpromazine (klor-PROE-ma-zeen)

Treats mental disorders, severe behavior disorders, severe hiccups, or severe nausea and vomiting. Belongs to a class of drugs called phenothiazines.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to chlorpromazine, or any other phenothiazine drug (such as Compazine®, or Mellaril®).

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Never take rectal suppositories by mouth.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine. Remove the foil or wrapper from the suppository before inserting it.
  • Lie on your left side with your left leg straight or slightly bent, and your right knee bent upward. Gently push the pointed end of the suppository into the rectum about 1 inch.
  • Keep lying down for about 15 minutes to keep the suppository from coming out before it melts. Then, wash your hands again.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of the used medicine applicator(s), containers, and any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin®), blood pressure medicine (such as atenolol, guanethidine, metoprolol, propranolol), diuretics or "water pills" (such as hydrochlorothiazide, Aldactazide®, Dyazide®, Maxzide®), or seizure medicine (such as Dilantin®, Depakote®, Tegretol®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are using antacids, lithium, or medicine to treat muscle spasms (such as atropine, belladonna, dicyclomine, glycopyrrolate, scopolamine).
  • There are many other drugs that can interact with chlorpromazine. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or taking drugs such as sleeping pills, cold or hay fever medicine, sedatives, muscle relaxants, tranquilizers, or narcotic pain killers unless your doctor agrees.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you have asthma, emphysema, breast cancer, trouble urinating, glaucoma, seizures, or a bone marrow or blood disorder. Tell your doctor if you have heart, kidney, or liver disease, lupus, or if you are exposed to pesticides or extreme heat.
  • This medicine may cause drowsiness or affect your sight. Be careful when driving or using dangerous machinery.
  • There is a risk of side effects that include muscle spasms, twitching or trembling in your face and body, and uncontrolled tongue or jaw movement. Talk to your doctor about this risk.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreen. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before you have surgery or medical tests.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Abnormal movements of your tongue, mouth, or jaw.
  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Fast or uneven heartbeat.
  • Fever, chills, sore throat, or body aches.
  • Muscle twitching or jerking.
  • Seizures.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Agitation, restlessness, or insomnia.
  • Changes with your vision, or skin discoloration.
  • Constipation.
  • Drowsiness, or dizziness.
  • Dry mouth, or stuffy nose.
  • Pain or swelling in your breasts.
  • Weakness.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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