Active Ingredients

Thiethylperazine – Effect, Application & Risks


Thiethylperazine is a medicinal substance that belongs to the phenothiazines . Thiethylperazine is an antiemetic and therefore suitable for the drug treatment of vomiting , nausea and dizziness . Thiethylperazine is also used as an antipsychotic. Thiethylperazine has an antagonistic effect on the receptors of the neurological messenger substance dopamine .

What is Thiethylperazine?

Synonymous names for the active ingredient thiethylperazine are thiethylperazine dihydrogen maleate and thiethylperazine . The active ingredient is currently no longer available on the pharmaceutical market in many countries, for example in Switzerland. Basically, thiethylperazine is mainly used in the form of suppositories , coated tablets and injection solutions. It is available under the trade name Torecan® from Novartis.

Thiethylperazine is in the form of a crystalline powder at room temperature. The color of the substance varies between pure white and a light yellow. The substance thiethylperazine is hardly soluble in water, but relatively easy in ethanol. Under the influence of light, thiethylperazine shows a reddish coloration.

The drug thiethylperazine is an antiemetic and is therefore suitable for the treatment of nausea and vomiting as well as dizzy spells. The triggers of the symptoms play a subordinate role, since thiethylperazine alleviates the symptoms regardless of their origin.

In addition, the active substance can be used as an antipsychotic, because drugs from the phenothiazine category are well suited for the treatment of psychotic symptoms. Doctors take advantage of the fact that thiethylperazine has an antagonistic effect on dopamine receptors. Patients take the medicine one to three times a day in the form of coated tablets.

The most common unwanted side effects of thiethylperazine are drowsiness , dry mouth and lightheadedness . Pharmaceutical manufacturers use the substance thiethylperazine maleate in the production of the drugs. In the chemical structural formula, the substance has a piperazine side chain.

Pharmacological effect on body & organs

Thiethylperazine acts as a typical antiemetic on the human organism. In addition, thiethylperazine has an antipsychotic effect. The mechanisms of action of thiethylperazine result from the antagonism that the substance exerts on the receptors of the messenger substance dopamine. In addition, thiethylperazine affects the receptors of other neurological transmitters. The half-life of the drug thiethylperazine is around twelve hours after ingestion.

Basically, the drug thiethylperazine intensifies the effects of various other substances, which must be taken into account before taking it. For example, thiethylperazine increases the effect of beta-blockers , sleep-inducing drugs , alcohol and antihypertensives .

The frequency of taking thiethylperazine depends primarily on the dosage form and the age of the patient. Adults usually receive the drug thiethylperazine in a dose of ten milligrams and take one to three tablets a day.

A rectal administration of thiethylperazine in suppository form is also possible. The duration of treatment is based on the respective health condition of the patient and is on average between two and four weeks for thiethylperazine.

Medicinal Application & Use for Treatment & Prevention

Thiethylperazine is used both as an antiemetic and as an antipsychotic. Depending on the symptoms and underlying disease, doctors prescribe the active ingredient thiethylperazine in the form of suppositories or dragees. It is also possible to administer the drug by injection. At the moment, however, thiethylperazine has largely disappeared from the market, which is mainly due to the low demand.

As an antiemetic, thiethylperazine is primarily useful for relieving vomiting and nausea after chemotherapy and radiotherapy of malignant neoplasms. Thiethylperazine is also used after operations. The treatment usually extends over a period of two to four weeks. In principle, the enclosed technical information must be observed when dosing and taking the active ingredient.

Risks & side effects

The potential side effects as well as interactions and contraindications must be considered before and during the intake of drugs with thiethylperazine. Possible undesirable side effects include dizziness, headaches , tachycardia and seizures . In addition, some patients suffer from increased photosensitivity , extrapyramidal abnormalities, peripheral edema and dry mouth after taking thiethylperazine . Numerous people also report an increased need for sleep during therapy with thiethylperazine.

In some cases, orthostatic hypotension , kidney and liver problems and cholestatic hepatitis also develop . Some people experience allergies or develop agranulocytosis after taking thiethylperazine . In rare cases, patients develop neuroleptic malignant syndrome as a result of the administration of thiethylperazine .

To avoid complications, there are various contraindications that temporarily contraindicate the administration of thiethylperazine. In principle, hypersensitivity to thiethylperazine speaks against taking the drug. Problems with the kidneys and liver , depression of the central nervous system and heart diseases also speak against the administration of thiethylperazine. In addition, treatment with thiethylperazine is not possible in the case of prostate enlargement or Parkinson’s disease , since otherwise there is a risk of serious complications.

Taking the drug during pregnancy is also generally excluded. In addition, thiethylperazine is not suitable for breastfeeding women and children under 15 years of age. Interactions arise primarily with drugs that have a central depressant effect.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.