Fluphenazine Decanoate Side Effects: An Overview

Fluphenazine decanoate is a long-acting antipsychotic medication primarily used to manage symptoms of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. It belongs to the class of medications called typical or first-generation antipsychotics. Although effective for many patients, it can have a range of side effects, some of which can be serious. Here’s a closer look at the potential side effects associated with fluphenazine decanoate.

Fluphenazine Decanoate Side Effects

  1. Extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS):
    • Dystonia: Painful and prolonged muscle spasms.
    • Akathisia: Restlessness and a compulsion to move.
    • Pseudoparkinsonism: Parkinson-like symptoms, including tremor, rigidity, and a shuffling walk.
    • Tardive dyskinesia: Involuntary movements, especially of the face.
  2. Drowsiness or sedation.
  3. Blurred vision.
  4. Dry mouth.
  5. Constipation.
  6. Weight gain.
  7. Orthostatic hypotension: A drop in blood pressure upon standing, leading to dizziness or fainting.

Less Common, but Serious Side Effects:

  1. Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS): A potentially life-threatening condition with symptoms like high fever, muscle rigidity, altered mental status, and rapid heart rate.
  2. Agranulocytosis: A severe drop in white blood cells, which can increase susceptibility to infections.
  3. Liver issues: Including jaundice or elevated liver enzymes.
  4. Seizures.
  5. Increased risk of death: Especially in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis.
  6. Cardiac effects: Including abnormal heart rhythms.

Tips for Patients:

  • Always communicate any new or worsening side effects to your healthcare provider.
  • Regular monitoring may be required to check for blood cell counts, liver function, or other potential issues.
  • If you experience symptoms of NMS, such as high fever, confusion, or muscle rigidity, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Do not stop taking fluphenazine decanoate without consulting your doctor, as abrupt discontinuation can lead to withdrawal symptoms.


While fluphenazine decanoate can be highly effective in treating symptoms of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, it’s essential to be aware of its potential side effects. With proper monitoring and communication with healthcare providers, many of these side effects can be managed or prevented. Always prioritize your health and wellbeing, and never hesitate to seek guidance or support.

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