Generic Name: Thioridazine (thye oh RID a zeen)
- This medicine may cause a prolonged QT interval (a type of heartbeat that is not normal). If this happens, the chance of other unsafe and sometimes deadly abnormal heartbeats may be raised. Sudden deaths have happened in people taking thioridazine. Do not take this medicine if you have low potassium or magnesium levels or a history of long QT on ECG. Your heartbeat will be watched often with an ECG. Talk with your doctor.
- This medicine must only be used when other drugs cannot be used or have not worked. Talk with your doctor to be sure that the benefits of thioridazine are more than the risks.
- There is a higher chance of death in older adults who take this medicine for mental problems caused by dementia. Most of the deaths were linked to heart disease or infection. This medicine is not approved to treat mental problems caused by dementia.
Uses of Thioridazine:
- It is used to treat schizophrenia.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Thioridazine?
- If you have an allergy to thioridazine or any other part of thioridazine.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have heart problems.
- If you have had in the past a heartbeat that does not feel normal.
- If you are very sleepy.
- If you have recently drunk a lot of alcohol or taken a big amount of drugs that may slow your actions like phenobarbital or some pain drugs like oxycodone.
- If you are taking any of these drugs: Fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, pindolol, or propranolol.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this medicine.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take thioridazine with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Thioridazine?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how thioridazine affects you.
- To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, rise slowly over a few minutes when sitting or lying down. Be careful climbing stairs.
- Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medicine.
- Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
- Low white blood cell counts have happened with drugs like this one. This may lead to a higher chance of getting an infection. Deadly infections have rarely happened. Tell your doctor if you have ever had a low white blood cell count. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection like fever, chills, or sore throat. Talk with your doctor.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take thioridazine.
- This medicine may cause seizures in some patients. Talk with the doctor.
- Be careful in hot weather or while being active. Drink lots of fluids to stop fluid loss.
- If you are 65 or older, use this medicine with care. You could have more side effects.
- This medicine may cause the results of some pregnancy tests to be wrong. Talk with the doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using thioridazine while you are pregnant.
- Taking this medicine in the third trimester of pregnancy may lead to muscle movements that cannot be controlled and withdrawal in the newborn. Talk with the doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is this medicine (Thioridazine) best taken?
Use thioridazine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
- Keep taking this medicine as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Trouble controlling body movements, twitching, change in balance, trouble swallowing or speaking.
- A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
- Shakiness, trouble moving around, or stiffness.
- Feeling confused.
- Mood changes.
- Swelling in the arms or legs.
- Change in eyesight.
- Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
- Very nervous and excitable.
- Not able to pass urine.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Enlarged breasts.
- Nipple discharge.
- Change in sex ability.
- For women, no period.
- Some people who take thioridazine may get a very bad muscle problem called tardive dyskinesia. The risk may be greater in older adults, mainly women. The chance that this will happen or that it will never go away is greater in people who take this medicine in higher doses or for a long time. Muscle problems may also occur after short-term use with low doses. Call your doctor right away if you have trouble controlling body movements or if you have muscle problems with your tongue, face, mouth, or jaw like tongue sticking out, puffing cheeks, mouth puckering, or chewing.
- A very bad and sometimes deadly health problem called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) may happen. Call your doctor right away if you have any fever, muscle cramps or stiffness, dizziness, very bad headache, confusion, change in thinking, fast heartbeat, heartbeat that does not feel normal, or are sweating a lot.
What are some other side effects of Thioridazine?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Hard stools (constipation).
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Dry mouth.
- Feeling sleepy.
- Stuffy nose.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Thioridazine?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Protect from light.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about thioridazine, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about thioridazine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using thioridazine.
Review Date: September 6, 2017
More about thioridazine
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
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- Drug class: phenothiazine antipsychotics
Other brands: Mellaril