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Pimozide (By mouth)

Pimozide (PIM-oh-zide)

Treats symptoms of Tourette syndrome.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use if you have had an allergic reaction to pimozide, or if you have heart rhythm problems (such as long QT syndrome) or low potassium or magnesium blood levels.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • It is usually best to take this medicine at bedtime.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • You must avoid many other medicines while you are using pimozide. These medicines used together could cause serious health problems, including death. Ask your doctor before you use any other medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you are also using a macrolide antibiotic (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, or azithromycin), medicine for depression (such as citalopram, escitalopram, sertraline, nefazodone, fluvoxamine, fluoxetine), medicine to treat a fungus infection (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole), medicine to treat HIV/AIDS (such as ritonavir, saquinavir, indinavir, nelfinavir), or zileuton.
  • Some medicines and foods can affect how pimozide works. Tell your doctor if you also use medicine to treat seizures, a phenothiazine (such as chlorpromazine, perphenazine, promethazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine), a tricyclic antidepressant (such as amitriptyline), medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as dofetilide, sotalol, quinidine), a diuretic (water pill), pentamidine, dolasetron, tacrolimus, or ziprasidone.
  • Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.
  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, or a history of seizures.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (a problem with the nervous system)
    • Tardive dyskinesia (a movement disorder)
    • Changes to your heartbeat
    • Decreased numbers of blood cells, especially white blood cells
  • This medicine may make you drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
  • Dizziness, fainting, lightheadedness
  • Fast, slow, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Fever, sweating, confusion, muscle stiffness or spasms
  • Problems with balance or walking
  • New or ongoing muscle movement that you cannot control (often in your lips, tongue, jaw, arms, or legs)

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness, weakness

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

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