Thioridazine is a prescription medicine used to treat serious mental and emotional disorders, including schizophrenia. Thioridazine overdose occurs when someone takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medicine, either by accident or on purpose.
This article is for information only. DO NOT use it to treat or manage an actual overdose. If you or someone you are with overdoses, call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
Get medical help right away. DO NOT make the person throw up unless poison control or a health care provider tells you to.
Before Calling Emergency
Have this information ready:
Person's age, weight, and condition
Name of the medicine and the strength of the medicine, if known
Time it was swallowed
If the medicine was prescribed for the person
The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What to Expect at the Emergency Room
Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.
The provider will measure and monitor the person's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated. The person may receive:
Blood and urine tests
Breathing support, including oxygen and a tube through the mouth into the lungs
CT scan (advanced imaging) of the brain
EKG (electrocardiogram, or heart tracing)
Intravenous fluids (given through a vein)
Medicine (sodium bicarbonate) to help reverse the effect of the poison
Tube through the mouth into the stomach to empty the stomach (gastric lavage)
Recovery depends on the amount of damage to the person's body. Survival past 2 days is usually a good sign. The most serious side effects are usually due to damage to the heart. If heart damage can be stabilized, recovery is likely. But if breathing has been depressed for a long period of time before treatment, brain injury may occur.
Dershwitz M. Antipsychotics. In: Vincent J-L, Abraham E, Moore FA, Kochanek PM, Fink MP, eds. Textbook of Critical Care. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 182.
Nockowitz RA, Rund DA. Psychotropic medications. In: Tintinalli JE, Kelen GD, Stapczynski JS, Ma OJ, Cline DM, eds. Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 6th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2004:chap 290.
Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.