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What is thioridazine? What is thioridazine used for?
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:
- prochlorperazine (Compazine, Compro, Procomp)
- chlorpromazine (Promapar, Thorazine)
- perphenazine (Trilafon)
- trifluoperazine (Stelazine)
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 available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for thioridazine?
What are the side effects of thioridazine?
Thioridazine causes extrapyramidal side effects such as:
- Abnormal muscle contractions
- Difficulty breathing and swallowing
- Neck spasms
Other side effects include:
What is the dosage for thioridazine?
- 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?
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.
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Is thioridazine 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?
What preparations of thioridazine are available?
Tablets: 10, 25, 50 and 100 mg.
How should I keep thioridazine stored?
Thioridazine tablets should be stored between 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 86 F).
Thioridazine (Mellaril is a discontinued brand) is an antipsychotic drug used for the management of schizophrenia and depressive disorders. Side effects, drug interactions, dosing, storage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
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Related Disease Conditions
Schizophrenia is a disabling brain disorder that may cause hallucinations and delusions and affect a person's ability to communicate and pay attention. Symptoms of psychosis appear in men in their late teens and early 20s and in women in their mid-20s to early 30s. With treatment involving the use of antipsychotic medications and psychosocial treatment, schizophrenia patients can lead rewarding and meaningful lives.
Brief Psychotic Disorder
Brief psychotic disorder is a short-term mental illness that features psychotic symptoms. There are three forms of brief psychotic disorder. The first occurs shortly after a major stress, the second has no apparent trauma that triggers the illness, and the third is associated with postpartum onset. Symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, unusual behavior, disorientation, changes in eating and sleeping, and speech that doesn't make sense. Treatment typically involves medication and psychotherapy.
Schizoaffective disorder is a mental illness that features schizophrenia and a mood disorder, either major depression or bipolar disorder. Symptoms include agitation, suicidal thoughts, little need for sleep, delusions, hallucinations, and poor motivation. Treatment may involve psychotherapy, medication, skills training, or hospitalization.
What Is Schizotypal Personality Disorder?
Schizotypal personality disorder is characterized by odd behaviors, feelings, perceptions, and ways of relating to others that interfere with one's ability to function. Medication and psychotherapy can help the sufferer to manage their symptoms.
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