In our modern age, more attention is beginning to be placed on psychosocial treatments, using non-drug treatments where possible, and a more compassionate context has developed in the overall field of mental health. With insights from modern researchers and holistic psychiatrists such as the remarkable Dr. Peter Breggin and many others, this certainly looks like a positive evolutionary step. (2)
Today chlorpromazine is sold under other trade names such as Largactil, and others around the globe. Many more antipsychotic drugs have been developed since the 1950s, and chlorpromazine would likely not be chosen unless other drugs had been found not helpful for a patient’s symptom management.
Since the drug has been around for three-quarters of a century, a considerable body of data has accumulated on chlorpromazine. Below is an outline of various topics of information and might be considered recommended reading for anyone considering starting or stopping the drug.
Originally the drug chlorpromazine was FDA approved for specific uses such as psychoses and schizophrenia. The drug has a calming effect, reducing excitability and agitation, but not heavily sedating which was considered useful in these treatment contexts.
There were no clinical trials prior to FDA approval for chlorpromazine, which was not unusual for the 1950s. This perhaps left the door pretty wide open for experimental use, and a much-widened scope developed over time as far as the number of reasons for prescribing the drug. (1)
Since coming to market, the drug has been used off-label for an ever-growing number of other purposes, including:
Thorazine (discontinued), Largactil, Megaphen, are all brand or trade names for the generic drug chlorpromazine. Sometimes antipsychotic drugs are nicknamed “drool drugs” as they can induce profuse salivation, and decrease the ability to swallow as the throat may become constricted. These effects can, unfortunately, cause the patient to become prone to this characteristic.
Thorazine, et. al, did not develop a known street presence as a drug of recreational use, although there is never a guarantee against the possibility of diversion-sourced drugs being covertly trafficked in the illicit market.
Thorazine, or chlorpromazine, produces a number of side effects. Weight gain is a rather notorious one for this drug, thought to be related to changes in glucose levels in the blood. However, this side effect usually reverts back to normal once the drug is stopped, though it may take several years for weight to normalize again. (1)
Other side effects for chlorpromazine include:
The most concerning withdrawal symptoms would be the return of symptoms that were unmanageable and that preceded the choice for pharmaceutical drug treatment in the first place.
Other withdrawal effects commonly reported include:
Quitting chlorpromazine should be discussed with your physician to look at other possible alternatives, but in any case, stopping chlorpromazine never be abrupt. A gradual taper would be the safer and milder approach if the decision were made to stop the long-term use of antipsychotic medications.
In today’s world of growing options for drug-free mental health treatment, there are many psycho-social and even nutritional protocols that might also be considered in overall treatment planning. (2) (3)
Thorazine and other brand name drugs have been widely researched over the decades. Following are a number of topics that are frequently researched for more information on important health matters such as drug effects, overdose, diseases linked to Thorazine, and more.
The treatment for schizophrenia, bipolar symptoms, etc. has mostly centered on pharmaceutical drugs to sedate the patient. While drug-based therapy may prove beneficial for some, for others, there may come a time when the decision is made to discontinue antipsychotic medications and seek other holistic drug-free therapies.
A mild and gentle taper program, supported by holistic, psycho-social and nutritional protocols may provide an excellent choice to consider. At the Alternative to Meds Center, we have helped many patients to come off medications gently and gradually, along with these types of methods, genetics testing, targeted supplementation, etc., with much success.
The center tests for and gently removes chemicals, environmental neurotoxins, heavy metals and other sources of accumulated harmful toxins as a rudimentary step. Some of the methods used include nebulized glutathione, sauna, chelation, bentonite clay packs, and many other supportive actions.
Often, clients report a significant improvement in overall wellness from these procedures, such as improved sleep and appetite, improved mood, and higher energy levels. Beginning a taper at such a point allows for a more efficacious, enjoyable and stable experience.
If you are considering a change in focus and a more natural approach to mental health treatment, we invite you to contact us for more information about the programs and protocols offered at our inpatient, retreat-style facility.
Haddad P, Kirk R, Green R, Chlorpromazine, the first antipsychotic medication: history, controversy and legacy. BAP [INTERNET] 2016 [cited March 9, 2020]
Hoenders H, Bartels-Velthuis A, Vollbehr N, Bruggeman R, Knegtering H, deJong J, Natural Medicines for Psychotic Disorders. J Nerv Ment Dis [INTERNET] Feb 2018 [cited March 9, 2020]
Levine B, Anti-authoritarians and Schizophrenia: Do Rebels Who Defy Treatment Do Better? Mad In America May 4, 2012 [INTERNET] [cited March 9, 2020]
FDA Label Thorazine [INTERNET] 1989 [cited March 9, 2020]
Dr. Motl is currently certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Psychiatry, and Board eligible in Neurology and licensed in the state of Arizona. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in biology and minors in chemistry and philosophy. He graduated from Creighton University School of Medicine with a Doctor of Medicine. Dr. Motl has studied Medical Acupuncture at the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine and at U.C.L.A.