Cardiovascular safety of aripiprazole and pimozide in young patients with Tourette syndrome

Neurol Sci. 2011 Dec;32(6):1213-7. doi: 10.1007/s10072-011-0678-1. Epub 2011 Jul 6.


The pharmacotherapy for tic management in Tourette syndrome (TS) relies on neuroleptics, which have been associated with electrocardiographic abnormalities, including QTc interval prolongation. This study assessed the cardiovascular safety of the newer antipsychotic aripiprazole in comparison with the neuroleptic pimozide among young patients affected by TS. Fifty patients aged 6-18 years were assigned to either pimozide (n = 25; mean daily dose 4.4 mg/die) or aripiprazole (n = 25; 5.3 mg/die) treatment for up to 24 months. All patients underwent five serial cardiovascular assessments (baseline, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months). The group treated with pimozide showed significant changes in blood pressure (decreased), QT and QTc (both prolonged). The aripiprazole group showed changes from baseline to peak values in blood pressure (increased), whilst modifications in QT and QTc were not statistically significant. At equivalent doses, aripiprazole is characterised by a safer cardiovascular profile than pimozide, being associated with a lower frequency of QTc prolongation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Aripiprazole
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Cardiovascular System / drug effects*
  • Child
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Pimozide / therapeutic use*
  • Piperazines / therapeutic use*
  • Quinolones / therapeutic use*
  • Time Factors
  • Tourette Syndrome / drug therapy*


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Piperazines
  • Quinolones
  • Pimozide
  • Aripiprazole