Addiction A-Z

Phenothiazines

Phenothiazines are drugs used to treat psychosis, mania, paranoia, anxiety, bipolar disorder, hyperactivity, schizophrenia and other conditions. They are sedatives that work by blocking messages being sent in the brain through the substance dopamine. These drugs are very effective and non-addictive. They do not cause euphoria, and after a while, people no longer feel drowsy using them. The main problem with Phenothiazine is that over time they damage the body. Studies found that older adults with dementia are more likely to die if they take phenothiazines, and that these drugs can cause Parkinson’s Disease.

Phenothiazines can take up to 14 days before they start to work. They cause drowsiness, and this effect can be more intense if you are taking sleeping pills, anti-histamines, muscle relaxants, and certain cold remedies. People who are taking anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs or narcotic painkillers should inform their doctors before taking phenothiazines. Side effects can include:

  • constipation
  • drowsiness
  • vision changes or dry mouth
  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • restlessness
  • muscle stiffness
  • weakness
  • difficulty speaking
  • loss of balance
  • trembling or shaking
  • dizziness
  • lip smacking or other uncontrollable movements
  • difficulty urinating
  • skin rash/discoloration.

People who overdose on these drugs may have severe problems such as seizures, difficulty breathing, and tremors, and need to seek emergency medical treatment.

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