The prototypical phenothiazine antipsychotic drug. Like the other drugs in this class, chlorpromazine's antipsychotic actions are thought to be due to long-term adaptation by the brain to blocking dopamine receptors. Chlorpromazine has several other actions and therapeutic uses, including as an antiemetic and in the treatment of intractable hiccup. [PubChem]
For the treatment of schizophrenia, control nausea and vomiting, For relief of restlessness and apprehension before surgery, adjunct in the treatment of tetanus, control the manifestations of the manic type of manic-depressive illness.
Chlorpromazine is a psychotropic agent indicated for the treatment of schizophrenia. It also exerts sedative and antiemetic activity. Chlorpromazine has actions at all levels of the central nervous system-primarily at subcortical levels-as well as on multiple organ systems. Chlorpromazine has strong antiadrenergic and weaker peripheral anticholinergic activity; ganglionic blocking action is relatively slight. It also possesses slight antihistaminic and antiserotonin activity.
Mechanism of action
Chlorpromazine acts as an antagonist (blocking agent) on different postsysnaptic receptors -on dopaminergic-receptors (subtypes D1, D2, D3 and D4 - different antipsychotic properties on productive and unproductive symptoms), on serotonergic-receptors (5-HT1 and 5-HT2, with anxiolytic, antidepressive and antiaggressive properties as well as an attenuation of extrapypramidal side-effects, but also leading to weight gain, fall in blood pressure, sedation and ejaculation difficulties), on histaminergic-receptors (H1-receptors, sedation, antiemesis, vertigo, fall in blood pressure and weight gain), alpha1/alpha2-receptors (antisympathomimetic properties, lowering of blood pressure, reflex tachycardia, vertigo, sedation, hypersalivation and incontinence as well as sexual dysfunction, but may also attenuate pseudoparkinsonism - controversial) and finally on muscarinic (cholinergic) M1/M2-receptors (causing anticholinergic symptoms like dry mouth, blurred vision, obstipation, difficulty/inability to urinate, sinus tachycardia, ECG-changes and loss of memory, but the anticholinergic action may attenuate extrapyramidal side-effects).
Additionally, Chlorpromazine is a weak presynaptic inhibitor of Dopamine reuptake, which may lead to (mild) antidepressive and antiparkinsonian effects. This action could also account for psychomotor agitation and amplification of psychosis (very rarely noted in clinical use).
Drug Info/Drug Targets: DrugBank 3.0: a comprehensive resource for 'omics' research on drugs. Knox C, Law V, Jewison
T, Liu P, Ly S, Frolkis A, Pon A, Banco K, Mak C, Neveu V, Djoumbou Y, Eisner R, Guo AC, Wishart DS.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Jan; 39 (Database issue):D1035-41. | PMID:21059682