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Pimozide is used for the suppression of motor and phonic tics (repetitive, involuntary movements and vocalizations) in patients with Tourette’s disorder (neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics).

How it works

Pimozide is an antipsychotic drug that acts by altering the effect of a chemical (dopamine), thereby, decreasing abnormal activity in the brain.

Common side effects

Nervousness, Abnormal vision, Acne-like rash, Restless, Agitation, Altered speech, Behavioual changes, Decreased sexual function, Sleepiness, Drowsiness, Dry mouth, Altered taste, Increased saliva production, Feeling thirsty, Increased appetite, Lack of facial expression, Muscle rigidity, Uncoordinated body movements, Weakness, Constipation, Diarrhoea


Expert advice

  • Take precautions as neuroleptic malignant syndrome (characterized by extreme body temperature, muscle rigidity, altered mental status) and tardive dyskinesia (disorder resulting in involuntary, repetitive body movements) has been reported with the long term use of pimozide.
  • If you have a history of a clinically significant low white blood cell or drug induced leukopenia/neutropenia (low white blood cell), you should have your complete blood count (CBC) monitored frequently during the first few months of therapy.
  • Use with caution if you are receiving anticonvulsant medication, with a history of seizures, or with EEG abnormalities.
  • Your blood electrolyte level (magnesium, potassium) should be regularly monitored.
  • Inform your doctor if you have heart problems or a history of irregular heartbeat, liver or kidney problems, a bowel obstruction, an enlarged prostate, or glaucoma, severe diarrhea, difficulty urinating, or high or low blood pressure.
  • Do not change your dose or stop taking pimozide, even if you are feeling well, as this may worsen your symptoms.
  • Use of pimozide may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision; it is advisable to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery under such circumstances till you feel fine.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol when receiving treatment with pimozide, as it may worsen the side effects.

Frequently asked questions


 Q. How does pimozide work?
Pimozide is an antipsychotic that acts by altering the effect of a chemical (dopamine), thereby, decreasing abnormal activity in the brain.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)