Thioridazine - oral
Thioridazine - oral
Thioridazine rarely has caused very serious (possibly fatal) irregular heartbeat (QT prolongation in the EKG). Therefore, it should be used only in patients who have not shown improvement with at least 2 other antipsychotic medications or who cannot tolerate other antipsychotic medications. This medication should not be used with other medications that can also cause a slow or irregular heartbeat. (See also Drug Interactions.)
There may be a slightly increased risk of serious, possibly fatal side effects (such as heart failure, fast/irregular heartbeat, pneumonia) when this medication is used by older adults with dementia. This medication is not approved for the treatment of dementia-related behavior problems. Discuss the risks and benefits of this medication, as well as other effective and possibly safer treatments for dementia-related behavior problems, with the doctor.
This medication is used to treat certain mental/mood disorders (e.g., schizophrenia). This medication helps you to think more clearly, feel less nervous, and take part in everyday life. It can also help prevent suicide in people likely to harm themselves and reduce aggression and the desire to hurt others. It can help decrease your negative thoughts and hallucinations. Thioridazine belongs to a class of drugs known as phenothiazines.
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used for short periods of time for very severe depression when the patient is also anxious.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually 2-4 times a day or as directed by your doctor.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Once your condition improves and you are better for a while, your doctor may work with you to reduce your regular dose. This may be done over time. Do not stop your medication or lower your dose without talking with your doctor first. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is stopped abruptly. Your dose may need to be gradually reduced.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, difficulty urinating, constipation, restlessness, headache, and blurred vision may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Dizziness and lightheadedness can increase the risk of falling. Get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor if any of these serious side effects occur:
Thioridazine may rarely cause a condition known as tardive dyskinesia. In some cases this condition may be permanent. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any unusual/uncontrolled movements (especially of the face, lips, tongue, arms or legs).
In rare cases, thioridazine may increase your level of a certain chemical made by the body (prolactin). For females, this increase in prolactin may result in unwanted breast milk, missed/stopped periods, or difficulty becoming pregnant. For males, it may result in decreased sexual ability, inability to produce sperm, or enlarged breasts. If you develop any of these symptoms, tell your doctor right away.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur:
Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur:
This medication may rarely cause a very serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Get medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms:
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely. Seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include:
In the US -
Before taking thioridazine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other phenothiazines (e.g., chlorpromazine); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have:
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
Thioridazine may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.
The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using thioridazine, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions:
Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using thioridazine safely.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, confusion, constipation, difficulty urinating, and QT prolongation (see above). Dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, and confusion can increase the risk of falling.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Babies born to mothers who have used this drug during the last 3 months of pregnancy may rarely develop symptoms including muscle stiffness or shakiness, drowsiness, feeding/breathing difficulties, or constant crying. If you notice any of these symptoms in your newborn especially during their first month, tell the doctor right away.
Since untreated mental/mood problems (such as schizophrenia, depression) can be a serious condition, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, immediately discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Some products that may interact with this drug include:
Many drugs besides thioridazine may affect the heart rhythm (QT prolongation), including amiodarone, dofetilide, pimozide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin), among others. Therefore, before using thioridazine, report all medications you are currently using to your doctor or pharmacist.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness such as opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine).
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., eye exams, potassium levels, EKG) may be performed from time to time to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised October 2018.
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