Compare chlorpromazine vs. Saphris

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Thorazine
(chlorpromazine)

Saphris
(asenapine)

Stabilizes your mood. Thorazine (chlorpromazine) has more side effects than other medicines like it. It is most useful during psychotic episodes because it slows you down quickly.Treats bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. While Saphris (asenapine) has fewer side effects compared with other medicines that treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, it can be more expensive.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Thorazine (chlorpromazine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Saphris (asenapine)?
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Side effects
chlorpromazineSaphris

The chlorpromazine FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about chlorpromazine side effects »
  • Trouble sleeping 2%
  • Sleepiness 6%
  • Difficulty controlling movements 3%
  • Restlessness 3%
  • Numbness in the mouth 4%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Weight gain 2%
More Saphris side effects »
How it works
chlorpromazineSaphris
Thorazine (chlorpromazine) is a derivative of phenothiazine, which regulates dopamine levels in your brain to improve your mood.While it's not clear how Saphris (asenapine) helps to treat bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, it changes the amount of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, two chemicals that are known to regulate mood.
Type of medication
chlorpromazineSaphris
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
chlorpromazineSaphris
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Dissolving pill
Used for
chlorpromazineSaphris
Risk factors for serious side effects
chlorpromazineSaphris
  • People over 65 with dementia and psychosis
  • Taking antipsychotic medications
  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Acute respiratory infections
Detailed Thorazine (chlorpromazine) risks & warnings »
  • People age 65 or older with dementia and psychosis
  • Taking antipsychotic medications
  • High blood pressure
  • History of heart disease
Detailed Saphris (asenapine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
chlorpromazineSaphris
  • Don't combine with alcohol or narcotics because it can cause you to stop breathing.
No alcohol related info.
Sleep
chlorpromazineSaphris
  • Can make you very sleepy so don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
No sleep related info.
Weight
chlorpromazineSaphris
No weight related info.
  • People on medicines like Saphris (asenapine) have had weight gain and higher blood sugar to the point of having diabetes. Your doctor will work with you to stop that from happening.
Upsides and benefits
chlorpromazineSaphris
  • Acts fast to slow you down during a psychotic episode.
  • Can also be used for nausea or migraines.
  • Safe for use in children as young as 6 months.
  • Comes in a sugar-coated pill for easy administration.
  • Saphris (asenapine) can be used to treat bipolar disorder in children age 10 or older, and schizophrenia in children age 12 or older.
  • You don't need water to take Saphris (asenapine); the pill dissolves in your mouth right away.
  • Compared to other medicines, the side effects of Saphris (asenapine) are milder.
Downsides and risks
chlorpromazineSaphris
  • Has more side effects than other medicines like it.
  • Can affect how your other medicines work.
  • Makes you more sensitive to the sun.
  • Can make you dizzy or lightheaded, especially when injected.
  • Cannot be stopped right away.
  • Saphris (asenapine) is only available as a brand name.
  • Compared to other medicines, Saphris (asenapine) can cause changes in your hormones and make you sleepy.
  • You have to take Saphris (asenapine) twice a day, which can be hard to remember.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
chlorpromazineSaphris
  • Can make you very sleepy so don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Can cause involuntary muscle movements just like other medicines for your mood.
  • Can dry you out and make you more sensitive to the sun.
  • Don't combine with alcohol or narcotics because it can cause you to stop breathing.
  • Cannot be stopped suddenly.
  • To take Saphris (asenapine), place the pill under your tongue and let it dissolve completely. Don't chew or swallow the pill, and don't eat or drink for 10 minutes after you take it.
  • You might feel numbness or tingling in your mouth or throat after you take Saphris (asenapine). This usually goes away after an hour.
  • Don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how Saphris (asenapine) affects you.
  • Don't stop taking Saphris (asenapine) suddenly without talking to your doctor first because it can be very dangerous.
  • If you miss a dose of Saphris (asenapine), take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s time for your next dose; don't take 2 doses at the same time.
  • Keep Saphris (asenapine) in your pantry away from heat, moisture, and light. Don't store it in your bathroom's medicine cabinet.
Learn more
More about chlorpromazineSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Thorazine (chlorpromazine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about SaphrisSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Saphris (asenapine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it