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Thioridazine is used in the treatment of schizophrenia (psychiatric disorder with symptoms of emotional instability, detachment from reality, often with delusions and hallucinations, and withdrawal into the self) in patients who have failed to respond to other antipsychotics.

How it works

Thioridazine belongs to a class of medication called as phenothiazine antipsychotics. It acts by decreasing the activity of certain chemicals (acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin) in the brain which are responsible for symptoms of schizophrenia, thereby reducing abnormal excitement in brain.

Common side effects

Nausea, Pale colored skin, Peripheral edema, Qtc interval prolonged, Abnormal milky discharge from breast, Absence of menstrual periods, Blurred vision, Breast engorgement, Constipation, Delayed ejaculation, Diarrhoea, Drowsiness, Dry mouth, Altered heart rate, Nasal congestion, Vomiting


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Expert advice

  • Take precautions as long term use of thioridazine may cause neuroleptic malignant syndrome (characterized by extreme body temperature, muscle rigidity, altered mental status) and tardive dyskinesia (disorder resulting in involuntary, repetitive body movements).
  • You may be at risk of developing hypotension (low blood pressure) during the treatment with thioridazine if you are a female or an elderly or alcoholic patient.
  • Tell your doctor if you are suffering from narrow-angle glaucoma (increased pressure inside the eyes that causes visual problem), prostatic hypertrophy (enlargement of organ called prostate), heart disease or epilepsy.
  • You should undergo regular eye examinations if you are receiving thioridazine for long term or in high doses or if you have liver disease.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery as thioridazine may impair the mental and/or physical abilities.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

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