thioridazine (Mellaril is a discontinued brand)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Coping With Schizophrenia

What is thioridazine- oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Thioridazine is an oral antipsychotic medication used for the management of schizophrenia. Thioridazine is one of the older, first-generation antipsychotic medications. Examples of other first-generation antipsychotics include:

Although the exact mechanism of antipsychotics is unknown, scientists believe that they may work by blocking the action of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter (chemical) that nerves use to communicate with one another. Thioridazine is used when patients do not respond to other antipsychotics.

Is thioridazine- oral available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for thioridazine- oral?

Yes

What are the side effects of thioridazine- oral?

Thioridazine causes extrapyramidal side effects such as:

  • Abnormal muscle contractions
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing
  • Neck spasms

Other side effects include:

Quick GuideSchizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment

Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment

What is the dosage for thioridazine- oral?

  • The recommended starting dose of thioridazine for treating schizophrenia is 50 to 100 mg every 8 hours.
  • Maintenance is recommended with doses every 6-12 hours with a total daily dose of 200 to 800 mg.
  • The dose for treating depressive disorders is 25 mg every 8 hours. The dose may be increased slowly to 20 to 200 mg daily.

Which drugs or supplements interact with thioridazine- oral?

Combining thioridazine with medications such as procainamide (Pronestyl), sotalol (Betapace), amiodarone (Cordarone), and dofetilide (Tikosyn) that affect heart rate and rhythm can cause abnormal heart beats.

Antidepressants such as fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft) and tricyclic antidepressants may reduce the breakdown of thioridazine, leading to increased blood levels and side effects of thioridazine.

Thioridazine should be used with caution with medications that depress the central nervous system and cause sedation or drowsiness. Examples include alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), zolpidem (Ambien), codeine, morphine, and alcohol. Such combinations can cause excessive sedation, drowsiness, weakness, confusion, speech impairment, and in severe cases coma or death. Combining alcohol with thioridazine also increases the risk of low blood pressure.

Is thioridazine- oral safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Use of thioridazine during pregnancy has not been adequately studied. Infants exposed to antipsychotics during the third trimester of pregnancy are at risk for extrapyramidal and withdrawal symptoms after birth. Symptoms reported included agitation, hypertonia, hypotonia, tremor, somnolence, depressed breathing, and feeding disorder.

Safe use of thioridazine by nursing mothers has not been established.

What else should I know about thioridazine- oral?

What preparations of thioridazine- oral are available?

Tablets: 10, 25, 50 and 100 mg.

How should I keep thioridazine- oral stored?

Thioridazine tablets should be stored between 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 86 F).

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.

Quick GuideSchizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment

Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment

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Reviewed on 11/6/2015
References
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.

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