Before taking chlorpromazine,
tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to chlorpromazine; other phenothiazines such as fluphenazine, perphenazine, prochlorperazine (Compazine), promethazine (Phenergan), thioridazine, and trifluoperazine; or any other medications.
tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin); antidepressants; antihistamines; atropine (in Motofen, in Lomotil, in Lonox); barbiturates such as pentobarbital (Nembutal), phenobarbital (Luminal), and secobarbital (Seconal); cancer chemotherapy; diuretics (water pills); epinephrine (Epipen); guanethidine (not available in the US); ipratropium (Atrovent); lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid); medications for anxiety, irritable bowel disease, mental illness, motion sickness, Parkinson's disease, ulcers, or urinary problems; medications for seizures such as phenytoin (Dilantin); narcotic medications for pain; propranolol (Inderal); sedatives; sleeping pills; and tranquilizers. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
tell your doctor if you have or have ever had asthma; emphysema (a lung disease that causes shortness of breath); an infection in your lungs or bronchial tubes (tubes that bring air to the lungs); trouble keeping your balance; glaucoma (condition in which increased pressure in the eye can lead to gradual loss of vision); breast cancer; pheochromocytoma (tumor on a small gland near the kidneys); seizures; an abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG; test that records electrical activity in the brain); any condition that affects the production of blood cells by your bone marrow; or heart, liver, or kidney disease. Also tell your doctor if you have ever had to stop taking a medication for mental illness due to severe side effects or if you plan to work with organophosphorus insecticides (a type of chemical used to kill insects).
if you will be using chlorpromazine to treat nausea and vomiting, it is important to tell your doctor about any other symptoms you are experiencing, especially listlessness; drowsiness; confusion; aggression; seizures; headaches; problems with vision, hearing, speech, or balance; stomach pain or cramps; or constipation. Nausea and vomiting that is experienced along with these symptoms may be a sign of a more serious condition that should not be treated with chlorpromazine.
tell your doctor if you are pregnant, especially if you are in the last few months of your pregnancy, or if you plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking chlorpromazine, call your doctor. Chlorpromazine may cause problems in newborns following delivery if it is taken during the last months of pregnancy.
if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking chlorpromazine.
if you are having a myelogram (x-ray examination of the spine), tell your doctor and the radiographer that you are taking chlorpromazine. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take chlorpromazine for 2 days before the myelogram and for one day after the myelogram.
you should know that this medication may make you drowsy and may affect your thinking and movements. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
ask your doctor about the safe use of alcohol during your treatment with chlorpromazine. Alcohol can make the side effects of chlorpromazine worse.
plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Chlorpromazine may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
you should know that chlorpromazine may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, fast heartbeat, and fainting, especially when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is most common at the beginning of treatment with chlorpromazine, especially after the first dose. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.
you should know that chlorpromazine may make it harder for your body to cool down when it gets very hot. Tell your doctor if you plan to do vigorous exercise or be exposed to extreme heat.