What is pimozide?

First generation ‘typical’ antipsychotics such as pimozide are an older class of antipsychotic than second generation ‘atypical’ antipsychotics. They are used primarily to treat positive symptoms including the experiences of perceptual abnormalities (hallucinations) and fixed, false, irrational beliefs (delusions). First generation antipsychotics may cause side effects which can differ depending on which antipsychotic is being administered and on individual differences in reaction to the drug. Reactions may include dyskinesias such as repetitive, involuntary, and purposeless body or facial movements, Parkinsonism (cogwheel muscle rigidity, pill-rolling tremor and reduced or slowed movements), akathisia (motor restlessness, especially in the legs, and resembling agitation) and dystonias such as muscle contractions causing unusual twisting of parts of the body, most often in the neck. These effects are caused by the dopamine receptor antagonist action of these drugs.

What is the evidence for pimozide?

Low quality evidence is unable to determine any differences on any outcome between pimozide and placebo. Moderate quality evidence suggests no differences in global or mental state between pimozide and other first generation antipsychotics, although pimozide may be more likely to cause tremor and the requirement for antiparkinsonian medication and may cause less sedation.

March 2019

Last updated at: 5:00 am, 22nd March 2019
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Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.