|Drug class||Typical antipsychotic|
|Main uses||Schizophrenia, Tourette syndrome|
|Side effects||Parkinsonism, dry mouth, sleepiness|
|Metabolism||CYP3A4, CYP1A2 and CYP2D6|
|Elimination half-life||55 hours (adults), 66 hours (children)|
|Chemical and physical data|
|Molar mass||461.557 g·mol−1|
|3D model (JSmol)|
Pimozide, sold under the brand name Orap among others, is a medication used to treat schizophrenia and Tourette syndrome. In Tourette's it is used when other treatments such as haloperidol are not effective. It is taken by mouth.
Common side effects include parkinsonism, dry mouth, and sleepiness. Other side effects may include tardive dyskinesia, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, QT prolongation, and seizures. It is an antipsychotic in the diphenylbutylpiperidine class. It affects both dopamine and serotonin receptors.
Pimozide was patented in 1963 and came into medical use in France in 1969. In the United Kingdom 100 tablets of 4 mg costs the NHS about £40 as of 2021. In the United States this amount costs about 430 USD.
There have been numerous studies showing Pimozide can be used successfully to treat Delusional parasitosis and traditionally was the drug of choice. However, newer medications have become prevalent recently as the preferred medication. In one case a series of 33 patients with delusional parasitosis (median age, 60 years), pimozide was prescribed for 24 patients, 18 of whom took the drug. The dose ranged from 1 to 5 mg daily. No information regarding initial dosing was specified, although the dose was continued for 6 weeks prior to tapering. Of those patients receiving pimozide, 61% (11/18) experienced improvement in or full remission of symptoms. The use of pimozide for the treatment of delusional parasitosis is based primarily on data from case series/reports that demonstrate some efficacy in the majority of patients. Currently, atypical antipsychotics such as olanzapine or risperidone are used as first line treatment. However, patients who experience negative side-effects with the first line medications are typically given pimozide.
A 2013 systematic review compared pimozide with other antipsychotics for schizophrenia or related psychoses:
|Enough overall consistency over different outcomes and time scales is present to confirm that pimozide is a drug with effectiveness similar to that of other, more commonly used antipsychotic drugs such as chlorpromazine for people with schizophrenia.|
Pimozide has been used in the treatment of delusional disorder and paranoid personality disorder. It has also been used for delusional parasitosis. It was also shown to alleviate gender dysphoria.
For schizophrenia it may be started at 2 mg per day with up to 20 mg per day used.
It is contraindicated in individuals with either acquired, congenital or a family history of QT interval prolongation. Its use is advised against in individuals with people with either a personal or a family history of arrhythmias or torsades de pointes. Likewise its use is also advised against in individuals with uncorrected hypokalaemia and hypomagnesaemia or clinical significant cardiac disorders (e.g. a recent myocardial infarction or bradycardia. It is also contraindicated in individuals being cotreated with SSRIs or in those with a known hypersensitivity to pimozide or other diphenylbutyl-piperidine derivatives. Likewise its use is contraindicated in individuals receiving treatment with CYP3A4, CYP1A2, or CYP2D6 inhibitors.
Pimozide overdose presents with severe extrapyramidal symptoms, hypotension, sedation, QT interval prolongation and ventricular arrhythmias including torsades de pointes. Gastric lavage, establishment of a patent airway and, if necessary, mechanically assisted respiration is the recommended treatment for pimozide overdose. Cardiac monitoring should be continued for at least 4 days due to the long half-life of pimozide.
Similarly to other typical antipsychotics pimozide has a high affinity for the Dopamine D2 receptor and this likely results in its sexual (due to prolactin hypersecretion) and extrapyramidal side effects as well as its therapeutic efficacy against the positive symptoms of schizophrenia.
|5-HT2A||48.4||This receptor is believed to be responsible for the atypicality of other antipsychotics like clozapine, olanzapine and quetiapine. Pimozide's affinity towards this receptor is low compared to its affinity for the D2 receptor and hence this receptor unlikely contributes to its effects to any meaningful extent.|
|5-HT7||0.5||Relatively high affinity for this receptor may explain its supposed antidepressant-like effects in animal models of depression.|
|α1A||197.7||Low affinity towards this receptor may explain why pimozide has a lower liability for producing orthostatic hypotension.|
|M3||1,955||This receptor is believed to be responsible for the interference with glucose homeostasis seen with some of the atypical antipsychotics such as clozapine and olanzapine. Pimozide's low affinity for this receptor likely contributes to the comparatively mild effects on glucose homeostasis.|
|D2||0.33||Likely the receptor responsible for the therapeutic effects against the positive symptoms of schizophrenia of antipsychotics like pimozide as well as the prolactin-elevating and extrapyramidal side effect-generating effects of typical antipsychotics like pimozide.|
|hERG||18||May be responsible for pimozide's high liability for prolonging the QT interval.|
|H1||692||Likely responsible for why pimozide tends to produce so little sedation.|
|Time to peak plasma concentration (Tmax)||6-8 hr|
|Peak plasma concentration (Cmax)||4-19 ng/mL|
|Elimination half-life (t1/2)||55 hours (adults), 66 hours (children)|
|Metabolising enzymes||CYP3A4, CYP1A2 and CYP2D6|
- A lower Ki value indicates a stronger binding
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