Thioridazine (patient information)
Thioridazine can cause life-threatening irregular heartbeat. You should only take thioridazine if your schizophrenia has not responded to other medications.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting or seizures. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking thioridazine.
Why is this medication prescribed
Thioridazine is used to treat schizophrenia and symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and hostility.
How should this medicine be used
Thioridazine comes as a tablet, liquid suspension, and liquid concentrate to take by mouth. It is usually taken two to four times a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take thioridazine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Shake the liquid suspension well before each use to mix the medication evenly. You may obtain a specially marked measuring spoon from your pharmacist to be sure of an accurate dose.
The liquid concentrate must be diluted before use. It comes with a specially marked dropper for measuring the dose. Ask your pharmacist to show you how to use the dropper if you have difficulty. To dilute the liquid concentrate, add it to at least 2 ounces of water, orange juice, or grape juice before taking it. If any of the juice gets on the dropper, rinse the dropper with tap water before replacing it in the bottle. Do not allow the liquid concentrate to touch your skin or clothing; it can irritate your skin. If you spill the liquid concentrate on your skin, wash it off immediately with soap and water.
Continue to take thioridazine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking thioridazine without talking to your doctor, especially if you have taken large doses for a long time. Your doctor probably will decrease your dose gradually. This drug must be taken regularly for a few weeks before its full effect is felt.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication should not be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow
Before taking thioridazine
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to thioridazine or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially antacids, antidepressant medications, antihistamines, appetite reducers (amphetamines), benztropine (Cogentin), bromocriptine (Parlodel), carbamazepine (Tegretol), dicyclomine (Bentyl), fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), guanethidine (Ismelin), lithium, medication for colds, meperidine (Demerol), methyldopa (Aldomet), paroxetine (Paxil), phenytoin (Dilantin), pindolol (Visken), propranolol (Inderal), sedatives, trihexyphenidyl (Artane), valproic acid (Depakane), and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had depression; seizures; shock therapy; asthma; emphysema; chronic bronchitis; problems with your urinary system or prostate; glaucoma; history of alcohol abuse; thyroid problems; bad reaction to insulin; angina; irregular heartbeat; problems with your blood pressure; blood disorders; or blood vessel, heart, kidney, liver, or lung disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking thioridazine, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking thioridazine.
- you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
- remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
- plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Thioridazine may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
What special dietary instructions should I follow
Thioridazine may cause an upset stomach. Take thioridazine with food or milk.
What should I do if I forget a dose
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it and take any remaining doses for that day at evenly spaced intervals. However, if you remember a missed dose when it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
If you take thioridazine once a day at bedtime and do not remember it until the next morning, omit the missed dose. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Minor Side Effects
Side effects from thioridazine are common. Your urine may turn pink or reddish-brown; this effect is not harmful. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- blurred vision
- dry mouth
- upset stomach
- weight gain
Severe Side Effects
If you experience any of the following symptoms or the one listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:
- restlessness or pacing
- fine worm-like tongue movements
- unusual face, mouth, or jaw movements
- difficulty swallowing
- shuffling walk
- seizures or convulsions
- difficulty urinating or loss of bladder control
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Protect the liquid from light. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to thioridazine.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
- Mellaril® Concentrate
- Thioridazine HCl Intensol®