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thioridazine (oral) (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking thioridazine (Mellaril)?

Thioridazine is not for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. Thioridazine may cause heart failure, sudden death, or pneumonia in older adults with dementia-related conditions.

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to thioridazine or other anti-psychotic drugs, or if you have untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension), very low blood pressure, a serious heart rhythm disorder, a history of Long QT syndrome, or if you are also using large amounts of alcohol or medicines that make you sleepy.

There are many medicines that should not be taken together with thioridazine because they may cause serious medical problems. Tell your doctor about all other medications you take, including:

  • antibiotics;
  • antidepressants;
  • blood pressure medications;
  • medications to treat or prevent malaria;
  • cancer medications;
  • certain HIV/AIDS medications;
  • migraine headache medicine;
  • heart rhythm medications;
  • medicine to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting;
  • certain narcotic pain medicines; and
  • other anti-psychotic medicines.

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

  • heart disease, high blood pressure, or a heart rhythm disorder;
  • a history of slow heartbeats that have caused you to faint;
  • past or present breast cancer;
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • a history of seizures;
  • Parkinson's disease;
  • enlarged prostate or urination problems;
  • low levels of potassium in your blood (hypokalemia); or
  • if you have ever had a serious side effect while using thioridazine or another phenothiazine.

It is not known whether thioridazine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

Taking antipsychotic 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 thioridazine, DO NOT STOP TAKING the medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Do not start or stop taking thioridazine during pregnancy without your doctor's advice.

It is not known whether thioridazine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take thioridazine (Mellaril)?

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.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, 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. Visit your doctor regularly.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using thioridazine.

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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