Generic name: Trifluoperazine hydrochloride.

Stelazine is a phenothiazine tranquilizer. It is thought to work by blocking chemicals involved in nerve transmission in the brain.

Quick Facts About Stelazine


Used to treat severe mental disturbances and anxiety that does not respond to normal tranquilizers.

Stelazine Dosage

If using liquid concentrate, must dilute. May use carbonated beverage, coffee, fruit juice, milk, tea, tomato juice, or water, or puddings, soups, and other semisolid foods. Do not take with alcohol.

  • Usual adult dose: for nonpsychotic anxiety — 2 to 4 milligrams per day, divided into 2 equal doses. Do not take more than 6 milligrams per day or take medication for more than 12 weeks. For psychotic disorders — 4 to 10 milligrams per day, divided into 2 equal doses, up to 40 milligrams per day. Seniors — prescribed lower doses.
  • Usual child dose: for psychotic conditions — 1 milligram per day as a single dose or divided into 2 doses. Doctor will prescribe up to 15 milligrams per day. Dose is determined based on weight and severity of illness. Children must be closely monitored or hospitalized during Stelazine therapy. Not prescribed for children under 6 years.
  • Missed dose: if taking 1 dose per day — take as soon as possible, then go back to regular schedule. If you remember the next day, do not take missed dose; go back to regular schedule. If taking more than 1 dose per day — take as soon as possible if within an hour of scheduled time. Otherwise, do not take missed dose; go back to regular schedule. Do not double doses.

Stelazine Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

agitation, coma, convulsions, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, extreme sleepiness, fever, intestinal blockage, irregular heart rate, low blood pressure, restlessness. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

Side effects: abnormal milk secretion; abnormal sugar in urine; abnormalities in movement and posture; agitation; allergic reactions; anemia; asthma; blood disorders; blurred vision; body rigidly arched backward; breast development in males; chewing movements; constipation; constricted pupils; difficulty swallowing; dilated pupils; dizziness; drooling; drowsiness; dry mouth; ejaculation problems; exaggerated or excessive reflexes; excessive or spontaneous milk flow; eye problems causing fixed gaze; eye spasms; fatigue; fever or high fever; flu-like symptoms; fluid accumulation and swelling (including the brain); fragmented movements; headache; heart attack; high or low blood sugar; hives; impotence; inability to urinate; increase in appetite and weight; infections; insomnia; intestinal blockage; involuntary movements of tongue, face, mouth, jaw, arms, and legs; irregular blood pressure, pulse, and heartbeat; irregular or no menstrual periods; jitteriness; light-headedness; liver damage; lockjaw; loss of appetite; low blood pressure; mask-like face; muscle stiffness and rigidity; nasal congestion; nausea; persistent; painful erections; pill-rolling movement; protruding tongue; puckering of mouth; puffing of cheeks; purple or red skin spots; rapid heartbeat; restlessness; rigid arms, feet, head, and muscles; seizures; sensitivity to light; shuffling walk; skin inflammation and peeling; skin itching, pigmentation, reddening, or rash; spasms in jaw, face, tongue, neck, hands, feet back, and mouth; sweating; swelling of throat; totally unresponsive  state; tremors; twisted neck; weakness; yellowing of skin and eyes.

No known less common or rare Stelazine side effects.


Inform your doctor before combining Stelazine with:

anticonvulsants such as Dilantin; atropine (Donnatal); blood thinners such as Coumadin; guanethidine (Ismelin); propranolol (Inderal); thiazide diuretics such as Dyazide. Extreme drowsiness occurs if combining Stelazine with: tranquilizers such as Valium, narcotic painkillers such as Percocet, antihistamines such as Benadryl, and barbiturates such as phenobarbital.

Avoid using alcohol; causes extreme drowsiness.

Special Cautions

If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Appears in breast milk; could affect a nursing infant.

Seniors are susceptible to low blood pressure and tardive dyskinesia (involuntary muscle spasms and twitches in the face and body). Senior women have higher risk for tardive dyskinesia.

Follow doctor’s instructions carefully for children over 6 years. Not prescribed for children under 6 years.

  • May impair ability to drive a car or operate machinery. Do not take part in any activity that requires alertness.
  • Immediately contact your doctor if you experience fever; sore throat, mouth, or gums; or flu-like symptoms.
  • Follow doctor’s instructions for gradually tapering off medication when therapy ends.
  • At risk for tardive dyskinesia (potentially permanent involuntary muscle spasms and twitches in the face and body). Ask your doctor about your particular risk.
  • Avoid if you have liver damage or an abnormal bone marrow or blood condition.
  • At risk for neuroleptic malignant syndrome — high body temperature, rigid muscles, irregular pulse or blood pressure, rapid or abnormal heartbeat, and excessive perspiration.
  • Use with caution if you have or ever had: brain tumor, breast cancer, intestinal blockage, glaucoma, heart or liver disease, or seizures; or if exposed to pesticides or extreme heat.
  • May mask overdose symptoms of other medications, and may cause difficulty in doctor diagnosing intestinal obstruction, brain tumor, and Reye’s syndrome.
  • Inform your doctor of any allergic reaction to other major tranquilizers.
  • May cause allergic reaction if you have asthma.
  • Contact your doctor if you experience vision problems.

Note: provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Stelazine side effects, please contact your healthcare provider