Trilafon (perphenazine)

Trilafon (perphenazine)

Brand name: Trilafon®.
Active ingredient name: Perphenazine.
Type of medication: Typical antipsychotic.
Available in Canada from: Schering Pharma Inc. (brand name only). Generic available from AA Pharma Inc.
Form: Oral tablets.
Generic: Yes: Perphenazine.
Listed on Ontario formulary: Yes.
OHIP+ coverage: Yes.

What is Trilafon used for?

Trilafon is used to manage psychotic illnesses, depression and schizophrenia. It is also used as a tranquilizer to help reduce agitated and disruptive behaviour and to manage severe nausea and vomiting. It is approved for use in people 12 years of age and older.

How should I take Trilafon?

Perphenazine is available in 2 mg, 4 mg, 8 mg, and 16 mg tablets. Your doctor will decide what the best dose is for you. The recommended dose varies widely. It will depend on your condition and your response, up to a maximum of 24 mg daily.

What are the most common side effects seen with Trilafon

Because studies have shown an increased risk of death in elderly people with dementia, Trilafon should be used with caution in this group.
The most common side effects of Trilafon include:
  • Abnormal movements (extrapyramidal symptoms)
  • Changes in monthly menstrual cycle (amenorrhea)
  • Decreased sexual interest and/or function
  • Swelling of breasts and milk production in males and females
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth

What are rare but potentially serious adverse effects with Trilafon?

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


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. Trilafon 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 Trilafon?

Tell all your doctors, pharmacists and dentist that you are taking Trilafon. 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 Trilafon:

  • 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 Trilafon.