Before taking perphenazine,
tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to perphenazine; other phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, prochlorperazine (Compazine), promethazine (Phenergan), thioridazine, or trifluoperazine;or any other medications.
tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone); antidepressants; antihistamines; atropine (in Motofen, in Lomotil, in Lonox); barbiturates such as pentobarbital (Nembutal), phenobarbital (Luminal), and secobarbital (Seconal); bupropion (Aplenzin, Wellbutrin, Zyban); chlorpheniramine (in cough and cold medications); cimetidine (Tagamet); clomipramine (Anafranil); duloxetine (Cymbalta); epinephrine (Epipen); haloperidol (Haldol); ipratropium (Atrovent); medications for anxiety or mental illness, irritable bowel disease, motion sickness, Parkinson's disease, seizures, ulcers, or urinary problems; methadone (Dolophine); narcotic medications for pain; quinidine; ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra); sedatives; certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), and sertraline (Zoloft); sleeping pills; and tranquilizers. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
tell your doctor if you have or have ever had brain damage, any condition that affects your blood cells, including conditions that affect the production of blood cells by your bone marrow, trouble keeping your balance, or liver disease. Your doctor may tell you not to take perphenazine.
tell your doctor if you have or have ever had pheochromocytoma (tumor on a small gland near the kidneys); breast cancer; seizures; an abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG; test that measures the electrical activity in the brain); depression; conditions that affect your breathing such as asthma, emphysema, or a lung infection; or heart or kidney disease. Also tell your doctor if you are experiencing alcohol withdrawal (symptoms that a person may experience if he/she stops drinking alcohol after drinking heavily for a long time), if you have ever had to stop taking a medication for mental illness due to severe side effects, or if you plan to work with organophosphate insecticides (a type of chemical used to kill insects).
if you will be using perphenazine to treat nausea and vomiting, it is important to tell your doctor about any other symptoms you are experiencing, especially listlessness; drowsiness; confusion; aggression; seizures;headaches; problems with vision, hearing, speech, or balance; stomach pain or cramps; or constipation. Nausea and vomiting that is experienced along with these symptoms may be a sign of a more serious condition that should not be treated with perphenazine.
tell your doctor if you are pregnant, especially if you are in the last few months of your pregnancy, or if you plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking perphenazine, call your doctor. Perphenazine may cause problems in newborns following delivery if it is taken during the last months of pregnancy.
if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking perphenazine.
you should know that this medication may make you drowsy and may affect your thinking and movements. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
ask your doctor about the safe use of alcohol while you are taking this medication. Alcohol can make the side effects of perphenazine worse.
plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Perphenazine may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
you should know that perphenazine may make it more difficult for your body to cool down when it gets very hot. Tell your doctor if you plan to do vigorous exercise or be exposed to extreme heat.
you should know that perphenazine may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is more common when you first start taking perphenazine. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.