Challenges related to thioridazine use in patients with mental retardation and developmental disabilities

Gerard Gallucci, Daniel L. Buccino, Marie Cournoyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thioridazine has been widely used in the treatment of psychotic and on-psychotic disorders in patients with mental retardation and developmental disabilities. Recent labeling changes issued for thioridazine citing the drug's potential for fatal cardiac arrhythmia have necessitated a reconsideration of treatment regimens for patients maintained on thioridazine, some for many years. We report on two cases from our Special Needs Clinic for adults with psychiatric illness and mental subnormality or developmental disability. Most patients can be switched to other agents with good control of symptoms. However, some patients have been difficult to transition to newer medications. We present two different outcomes and offer clinical, theoretical, and pharmacological observations regarding the successes or challenges in transitioning from thioridazine to alternative medication regimens in this dually diagnosed population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-25
Number of pages5
JournalMental Health Aspects of Developmental Disabilities
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Cardiotoxicity
  • Developmental disability
  • Intellectual
  • Mental retardation
  • Psychosis
  • Thioridazine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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