Chlorpromazine (CPZ), marketed under the brand names Thorazine
and Largactil among others, is an antipsychotic medication. It is primarily used to treat psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. Other uses include the treatment of bipolar disorder, severe behavioral problems in children including those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, nausea and vomiting, anxiety before surgery, and hiccups that do not improve following other measures. It can be given by mouth, by injection into a muscle, or into a vein.
Common side effects include movement problems, sleepiness, dry mouth, low blood pressure upon standing, and increased weight. Serious side effects may include the potentially permanent movement disorder tardive dyskinesia, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, severe lowering of the seizure threshold, and low white blood cell levels. In older people with psychosis as a result of dementia it may increase the risk of death. It is unclear if it is safe for use in pregnancy. Chlorpromazine is in the typical antipsychotic class. Its mechanism of action is not entirely clear but believed to be related to its ability as a dopamine antagonist. It also has anti-serotonergic and antihistaminergic properties.
Chlorpromazine was developed in 1950 and was the first antipsychotic. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines. Its introduction has been labeled as one of the great advances in the history of psychiatry. It is available as a generic medication.