What is trifluoperazine?

First generation ‘typical’ antipsychotics such as trifluoperazine are an older class of antipsychotic than second generation ‘atypical’ antipsychotics. They are used primarily to treat positive symptoms including the experiences of perceptual abnormalities (hallucinations) and fixed, false, irrational beliefs (delusions). First generation antipsychotics may cause side effects which can differ depending on which antipsychotic is being administered and on individual differences in reaction to the drug. Reactions may include dyskinesias such as repetitive, involuntary, and purposeless body or facial movements, Parkinsonism (cogwheel muscle rigidity, pill-rolling tremor and reduced or slowed movements), akathisia (motor restlessness, especially in the legs, and resembling agitation) and dystonias such as muscle contractions causing unusual twisting of parts of the body, most often in the neck. These effects are caused by the dopamine receptor antagonist action of these drugs.

What is the evidence for trifluoperazine?

Moderate to low quality evidence shows trifluoperazine may improve global state more than placebo, it may also result in less people leaving the study early due to relapse or worsening of symptoms. However, trifluoperazine may cause drowsiness and use of antiparkinsonian drugs for movement disorders. High quality evidence shows no differences in global state, and moderate quality evidence suggests no differences in response to treatment or study retention between trifluoperazine and other first generation antipsychotics. Moderate quality evidence suggests no differences in adverse events between trifluoperazine and other first generation antipsychotics, apart from more extrapyramial or movement side effects with trifluoperazine in comparison with low-potency chlorpromazine.

October 2020

Last updated at: 4:13 am, 14th October 2020
To view documentation related to this topic download the files below
Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

NeuRA Libraries

Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.