Pimozide: a review of its pharmacological properties and therapeutic uses in psychiatry

Drugs. 1976;12(1):1-40. doi: 10.2165/00003495-197612010-00001.


Pimozide 1-(1-[4,4-bis(4-fluorophenyl)butyl]-4-peperidinyl)-2-benzimidazolone, is the first of a new series of psychotropic drugs, the kiphenylbutylpiperidines. It is advocated for once-daily use as maintenance therapy in chronic schizophrenia and for the treatment of psychic and functional disorders induced by personality traits. Published data suggest that in chronic schizophrenia, pimozide 4 to 6mg daily is indistinguishable from maintenance doses of chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, flupenthixol, perphenazine, or thioidazine. Patient groups have usually been to small to allow statistically significant differences to be apparent, but in some trials pimozide was significantly superior to trifluoperzine and to haloperidol. On present evidence, pimozide has no place in the hyperactive, aggressive type of patient or in treating the acute phase of schizophrenia, probably because of its relative lack of sedative properties compared with many antipsychotic drugs. The incidence and severity of extrapyramidal reactions with pimozide are low, but suitably designed controlled studies are needed to determine whether its use leads to a reduction in the requirement for antiparkinsonian medication. In anxious patients, pimozide seems to offer no advantages over currently available anxiolytic agents, either in terms of efficacy or incidence of side-effects. Claims for a specific effect against anxiety associated with psychosis or disturbed personality traits remain unproven.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Anxiety / drug therapy
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Child
  • Dogs
  • Drug Interactions
  • Haplorhini
  • Humans
  • Lipodystrophy / drug therapy
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Mice
  • Movement Disorders / drug therapy
  • Pimozide / administration & dosage
  • Pimozide / adverse effects
  • Pimozide / metabolism
  • Pimozide / pharmacology*
  • Pimozide / poisoning
  • Pimozide / therapeutic use
  • Pimozide / toxicity
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy
  • Teratogens / pharmacology


  • Teratogens
  • Pimozide