Pimozide is used to treat schizophrenia (an illness that causes changes in perception, thoughts and behaviour). It helps to relieve symptoms common in schizophrenia, such as distorted thinking and emotional instability.
Pimozide is also used to treat Tourette's syndrome (known as "tics"), a condition in which there are involuntary movements or sounds. Tourette's syndrome may occur on its own or together with other conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety or depression. Pimozide helps to calm the brain so that it is less easily excited into producing "tics".
Pimozide may also be used to treat other conditions such as paranoid psychosis.
Take Pimozide exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take Pimozide with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Pimozide must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed otherwise, as stopping it suddenly could worsen your condition.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Pimozide is not suitable for patients with dementia-related psychosis.
Alert your doctor if you have any of these conditions:
- simple tics or tics other than those associated with Tourette's syndrome
- irregular, unusually fast or slow heartbeat
- heart diseases (recent heart attack, heart failure)
- low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood manifested as muscle weakness, twitching, and abnormal heart rhythm
- Parkinson's disease (a brain disease that affects movement)
- severe depression
as Pimozide may not be suitable for you.
Do not take Pimozide with medicines to treat fungal infection, HIV infection, mental disorders, heart diseases, depression, medicine to suppress appetite and certain antibiotics. Please see the section “Can I take this with other medicines?” below for more information.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- seizures (fits)
- Parkinson's disease
- glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye)
- an enlarged prostate or difficulty urinating
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- blood disorders
- bowel blockage or bowel paralysis (paralytic ileus) which causes severe constipation
- thyroid disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you are going for an operation, including minor operations and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are being treated with Pimozide.
Pimozide may affect the ability of your body to adjust to temperature changes in the environment. Avoid exposure to very cold or very hot environments. Avoid strenuous exercise and activities like going to the sauna. Drink more water to prevent dehydration.
If you are taking Pimozide for a prolonged period of time, you will need to have regular ECG (electrocardiogram) and blood tests done. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Pimozide may cause drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision and and may also cause you to suddenly fall asleep during your daily activities. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activities in which you need to be alert or be able to see clearly.
Other side effects include any of the following: dry mouth, difficulty in sleeping, constipation, difficulty passing urine, headache.
Other side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- feeling of restlessness or involuntary, repetitive body movement
- muscle stiffness, high fever, excessive sweating, altered mental status
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not take Pimozide with the following medicines:
- medicines to treat depression e.g fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine, citalopram
- medicines to treat mental disorders e.g. chlorpromazine, thioridazine, sertindole
- medicines to treat HIV infection e.g. saquinavir, ritonavir, indinavir
- medicines to treat fungal infection e.g. ketoconazole, itraconazole
- medicine to treat malaria e.g. quinine
- certain antibiotics e.g. erythromycin, clarithromycin, azithromycin
- medicines to treat heart disease e.g amiodarone, quinidine, procainamide,
- medicine to suppress appetite e.g. sibutramine
- zileuton (asthma medicine)
Inform your doctor and your pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- stomach medicines e.g. domperidone, metoclopramide
- diuretics (water pills) e.g. bumetanide, chlorthalidone, furosemide, indapamide
- levodopa (medicine for Parkinson's disease)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Pimozide.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid grapefruit juice.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.