Fluanxol (flupentixol)

Fluanxol (flupentixol)

Brand name: Fluanxol®.
Active ingredient name: Flupentixol.
Type of medication: Typical antipsychotic.
Available in Canada from: Lundbeck Canada Inc.
Form: Oral tablets, intramuscular injection.
Generic: No.
Listed on Ontario formulary: Oral: Yes; Injection: Yes (20 mg and 100 mg).
OHIP+ coverage: Fluanxol and Fluanxol Depot are both covered.
 

What is Fluanxol used for?

Fluanxol is used to treat schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses in adults. It may be used for other conditions such as depression. Ask your doctor why you are being prescribed Fluanxol.

How Should I take Fluanxol?

  • Oral Fluanxol can be taken with or without food. It can be taken once per day or multiple times per day depending on individual preference.
  • The injectable form of Fluanxol must be given by a healthcare provider. The injections may be given in a hospital, a clinic, a doctor’s office or even an individual’s home in some cases.
  • Fluanxol is available in 0.5 mg, 3 mg, and 5 mg tablets.
  • Fluanxol Depot is available in two strengths: a 2% solution and a 10% solution.
  • The dosage range for oral Fluanxol is 16 mg - 224 mg per day. Ask your doctor about your specific dose.
  • The dosage range for Fluanxol depot is 20 mg - 40 mg every 2 - 4 weeks. In some cases, doses may go above this range. Discuss your individual dose with your doctor.

What are the most common side effects seen with Fluanxol? 

The most common side effects of Fluanxol include:
  • Abnormal movements (extrapyramidal symptoms)
  • Changes in monthly menstrual cycle (amenorrhea)
  • Decreased sexual interest and/or function
  • Swelling of breasts and milk production in both men and women
  • Muscle spasm (dystonia)

What are rare but potentially serious adverse effects with Fluanxol?

  • Decrease in white blood cell count (agranulocytosis)
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS)
  • Sudden cardiac death (heart attack)
  • Torsades de pointes (serious heart arrhythmia)

Warnings/Precautions

Elderly individuals with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic medication are at an increased risk of death compared to individuals not receiving antipsychotics. Most deaths appear to be either cardiovascular or infectious. Fluanxol is not approved for the treatment of dementia-related psychosis. Some individuals with dementia may, however, be treated with this medication. Discuss the potential risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor for this indication.

What medications interact with Fluanxol?

Tell all your doctors, pharmacists and dentist that you are taking Fluanxol. You should also tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medications, including those obtained without a prescription, and herbal and vitamin products.

The following types of medications may interact with Fluanxol:

  • Certain medications for allergies (e.g., Benadryl [diphenhydramine])
  • Certain medications for sleep (e.g., lorazepam, zopiclone)
  • Certain medications for pain (e.g., fentanyl)
  • Anti-Parkinson agents
Avoid drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs while taking Fluanxol.