Pimozide (By mouth)


Pimozide (PIM-oh-zide)

Treats symptoms of Tourette syndrome such as uncontrolled body movements or vocal sounds. It is used when these symptoms are severe.

Brand Name(s)


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to pimozide. Do not use this medicine if you have central nervous system depression, heart rhythm problems (such as arrhythmia or congenital long QT syndrome), mineral imbalance (such as low potassium or magnesium in the blood), or have tics not caused by Tourette syndrome. Do not use pimozide if you also use the following medicines: arsenic trioxide (Trisenox®), cisapride (Propulsid®), dolasetron mesylate (Anzemet®), droperidol (Dridol®, Inapsine®), levomethadyl acetate (Orlaam®), methylphenidate (Ritalin®), pemoline (Cylert®), pentamidine (Nebupent®), probucol, tacrolimus (Prograf®), zileuton (Zyflo®), amphetamines (such as Desoxyn®, Dexedrine®), medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, Betapace®, Cardioquin®, Cordarone®, Norpace®, Procanbid®, Quinaglute®, or Tikosyn®), medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, nefazodone, nortriptyline, paroxetine, sertraline, Celexa®, Elavil®, Lexapro?, Luvox®, Pamelor®, Paxil®, Prozac®, Sarafem®, Serzone®, Vivactil®, or Zoloft®), certain antibiotics (such as azithromycin, clarithromycin, dirithromycin, erythromycin, gatifloxacin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, sparfloxacin, troleandomycin, Avelox®, Biaxin®, Ery-tab®, Levaquin®, Nizoral®, Sporanox®, Tao®, Tequin®, Zagam®, or Zithromax®), medicine to treat HIV infection (such as indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, Crixivan®, Fortovase®, Invirase®, Norvir®, or Viracept®), medicine to treat malaria (such as halofantrine, mefloquine, Halfan®, or Lariam®), or medicine to treat mental illness (such as chlorpromazine, loxapine, mesoridazine, molindone, perphenazine, prochlorperazine, quetiapine, thioridazine, thiothixene, ziprasidone, Compazine®, Geodon®, Mellaril®, Serentil®, or Seroquel®). Your risk for more serious side effects may increase when you use these medicines together with pimozide.

How to Use This Medicine


  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • It is best to take this medicine at bedtime.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

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

  • Make sure your doctor knows all of the medicines that you take.
  • Tell your doctor if you also use medicine to treat seizures such as carbamazepine (Tegretol®), phenobarbital, or phenytoin (Dilantin®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you have kidney, liver, or heart disease, glaucoma, pituitary gland tumors, an enlarged prostate, trouble urinating, or a history of seizures.
  • This medicine can cause changes in your heart rhythm and the way your heart beats. It may cause fainting or serious side effects in some patients. Contact your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of heart rhythm problems, such as fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeats.
  • This medicine may cause tardive dyskinesia (a movement disorder). Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms while taking this medicine: lip smacking or puckering, puffing of the cheeks, rapid or worm-like movements of the tongue, or movements of the arms, legs or jaw that you cannot control.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have seizures; difficulty with breathing; a fast heartbeat; high fever; high or low blood pressure; increased sweating; loss of bladder control; severe muscle stiffness; unusually pale skin; or tiredness. These could be symptoms of a serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).
  • Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor if you have a fever, chills, or a sore throat. These could be symptoms of an infection.
  • This medicine may make you drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects. Your doctor may want also to check your heart rhythm while you are using this medicine.

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
  • Constant muscle movement that you cannot control (often in your lips, tongue, jaw, arms, or legs)
  • Fast, slow, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Fever, sweating, confusion, or muscle stiffness
  • Neck muscle spasm, throat tightness, difficulty with swallowing or breathing, or sticking out of the tongue

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

  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • Vision changes, such as blurred vision or trouble focusing
  • 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

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

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