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Generic Name: Thioridazine (thye-oh-RID-a-zeen)

Drug Class: Antipsychotic

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Mellaril (thioridazine) is a phenothiazine and is classified as an antipsychotic medication. It is used to treat patients that suffer from delusions, hallucinations, unorganized thoughts, and hostility. It is usually prescribed after other antipsychotic medicines have been tried unsuccessfully. Thioridazine may be prescribed for other uses as well.

This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your health care provider.

It works by helping change certain chemicals in the brain, which professionals refer to as “neurotransmitters.” It is not yet well-understood why changing these neurochemicals results in symptom relief for the conditions this drug is commonly prescribed for.

How to Take It

Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. This medicine should be taken continually, even if you are feeling better. thioridazine comes in a tablet, liquid suspension and a liquid concentrate to be taken by orally. This medicine is generally given two to four a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Do not take more or less of this medicine than prescribed. Do not share this medicine with other people.

Side Effects

Side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include:

  • blurred vision
  • agitation
  • difficulty urinating
  • headache
  • stuffy nose
  • drowsiness
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • dizziness
  • restlessness

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • confusion
  • severe allergic reactions
  • difficulty breathing
  • eye pain or discoloration
  • fever
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • shuffling walk
  • slow or jerky movements
  • seizures
  • rash
  • severe muscle stiffness
  • drooling
  • unusual movements of the face or jaw
  • unusual tiredness
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • fainting
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes

Warnings & Precautions

  • Tell your doctor know if you are allergic to thioridazine or any other medications.
  • Tell your doctor your medical history, especially if you have blood problems (e.g., low white blood cell count), a history of seizures, or Parkinson’s disease.
  • This medicine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or lightheadedness. DO NOT drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine if you are having surgery.
  • Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any unusual movements, especially of the arms, legs, face, tongue, or lips. Thioridazine may rarely cause a condition known as tardive dyskinesia. In some cases, this condition may be permanent.
  • Alcoholic beverages can increase the effects of this medicine and should be avoided.
  • Avoid long exposure to the sun and use a sunscreen and protective clothing. Thioridazine increases your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight, making it easier for you to burn. This includes sunlamps.
  • For an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. For non-emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

Many drugs can interact with thioridazine, and some drugs should not be used together. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Dosage & Missed Dose

Take this medicine as directed by your doctor and follow instructions on your prescription label. Your dose may be changed occasionally by your doctor to achieve the best results. Do not take this medicine for longer than recommended.

Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses or take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (preferably not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


During pregnancy, thioridazine should be used only when clearly needed. Mothers who have used this drug during the last 3 months of pregnancy may give birth to babies with symptoms including muscle stiffness or shakiness, drowsiness, feeding/breathing difficulties, or constant crying. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of these symptoms in your newborn especially during their first month.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider, or you can visit this website, for additional information from the manufacturer of this drug.



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APA Reference
Psych Central. (2018). Mellaril. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 26, 2020, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Oct 2018
Last reviewed: By Christine Traxler, M.D.
Published on All rights reserved.