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pimozide (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking pimozide (Orap)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to pimozide or other antipsychotic medicines, or if you have:

  • low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood; or
  • a history of Long QT syndrome.

To make sure you can safely take pimozide, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

Before you start taking pimozide, your heart function may need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG). This machine measures electrical activity of the heart.

FDA pregnancy category C. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

Taking this medication during the last 3 months of pregnancy may cause problems in the newborn, such as withdrawal symptoms, breathing problems, feeding problems, fussiness, tremors, and limp or stiff muscles. However, you may have withdrawal symptoms or other problems if you stop taking your medicine during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking pimozide, do not stop taking it without your doctor's advice.

It is not known whether pimozide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using pimozide.

Pimozide should not be given to a child younger than 12 years old.

How should I take pimozide (Orap)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Tell your doctor if you have a prolonged illness that causes diarrhea or vomiting. You may develop an electrolyte imbalance, which could cause heart rhythm problems while you are taking pimozide.

It may take several weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.

Do not stop using pimozide suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using pimozide.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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