Clinical data
Trade names Clopixol
AHFS/Drugs.com International Drug Names
  • C
Routes of
Oral, IM
ATC code N05AF05 (WHO)
Legal status
Legal status
  • ℞ (Prescription only)
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability 49% (oral)
Protein binding 98%
Metabolism Hepatic (CYP2D6 and CYP3A4-mediated)
Biological half-life 20 hours (oral), 19 days (IM)
Excretion Feces
CAS Number 53772-83-1 YesY
85721-05-7 (acetate)
64053-00-5 (decanoate)
PubChem (CID) 5311507
DrugBank DB01624 YesY
ChemSpider 4470984 YesY
KEGG D03556 YesY
ECHA InfoCard 100.053.398
Chemical and physical data
Formula C22H25ClN2OS
Molar mass 400.965 g/mol
3D model (Jmol) Interactive image
 NYesY (what is this?)  (verify)

Zuclopenthixol (Cisordinol, Clopixol, Acuphase), also known as zuclopentixol, is a typical antipsychotic drug of the thioxanthene class. It was introduced in 1976 by Lundbeck.[1] It is the cis-isomer of clopenthixol.[2]

Zuclopenthixol is not approved for use in the United States.[3][4]


Zuclopenthixol is available in three major preparations:

It is also used in the treatment of acute bipolar mania.


As a long acting injection, zuclopenthixol decanoate comes in a 200 mg and 500 mg ampoule. Doses can vary from 50 mg weekly to the maximum licensed dose of 600 mg weekly. In general, the lowest effective dose to prevent relapse is preferred. The interval may be shorter as a patient starts on the medication before extending to 3 weekly intervals subsequently. The dose should be reviewed and reduced if side effects occur, though in the short term an anticholinergic medication benztropine may be helpful for tremor and stiffness, while diazepam may be helpful for akathisia. 100 mg of zuclopenthixol decanoate is roughly equivalent to 20 mg of flupentixol decanoate or 12.5 mg of fluphenazine decanoate.

In acutely psychotic and agitated inpatients, 50 – 200 mg of zuclopenthixol acetate may be given for a calming effect over the subsequent three days, with a maximum dose of 400 mg in total to be given. As it is a long-acting medication, care must be taken not to give an excessive dose.

In oral form zuclopenthixol is available in 10, 25 and 40 mg tablets, with a dose range of 2060 mg daily.


Zuclopenthixol has high affinity for both dopamine D1 and D2 receptors, for α1-adrenoceptors and 5-HT2 receptors but no affinity for cholinergic muscarine receptors. It has weak histamine (H1) receptor affinity and no α2-adrenoceptor blocking activity.

Evidence from in vitro work and clinical sources (i.e. therapeutic drug monitoring databases) suggests that both CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 play important roles in zuclopenthixol metabolism.[9]

Side effects

Chronic administration of zuclopenthixol (30 mg/kg/day for two years) in rats resulted in small, but significant, increases in the incidence of thyroid parafollicular carcinomas and, in females, of mammary adenocarcinomas and of pancreatic islet cell adenomas and carcinomas. An increase in the incidence of mammary adenocarcinomas is a common finding for D2 antagonists which increase prolactin secretion when administered to rats. An increase in the incidence of pancreatic islet cell tumours has been observed for some other D2 antagonists. The physiological differences between rats and humans with regard to prolactin make the clinical significance of these findings unclear.

Other permanent side effects are similar to many other typical antipsychotics, namely extrapyramidal symptoms as a result of dopamine blockade in subcortical areas of the brain. This may result in symptoms similar to those seen in Parkinson's disease and include a restlessness and inability to sit still known as akathisia, a slow tremor and stiffness of the limbs.[8] Zuclopenthixol is thought to be more sedating than the related flupentixol, though possibly less likely to induce extrapyramidal symptoms than other typical depots.[5] As with other dopamine antagonists, zuclopenthixol may sometimes elevate prolactin levels; this may occasionally result in amenorrhoea or galactorrhoea in severe cases. Neuroleptic malignant syndrome is a rare but potentially fatal side effect. Any unexpected deterioration in mental state with confusion and muscle stiffness should be seen by a physician.

Very common Adverse Effects (≥10% incidence) [10]
Common (1%≤incidence≤10%) [10]
Uncommon (0.1%≤incidence≤1%)[10]
Rare (0.01%≤incidence≤0.1%)[10]
Very rare (incidence<0.01%)[10]

See also


Cisordinol 10 mg tablet
  1. José Miguel Vela; Helmut Buschmann; Jörg Holenz; Antonio Párraga; Antoni Torrens (2007). Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Anxiolytics: From Chemistry and Pharmacology to Clinical Application. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. p. 516. ISBN 3-527-31058-4.
  2. Sneader, Walter (2005). Drug discovery: a history. New York: Wiley. p. 410. ISBN 0-471-89980-1.
  3. Green, Alan I.; Noordsy, Douglas L.; Brunette, Mary F.; O'Keefe, Christopher (2008). "Substance abuse and schizophrenia: Pharmacotherapeutic intervention". Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 34 (1): 61–71. doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2007.01.008. ISSN 0740-5472. PMC 2930488Freely accessible. PMID 17574793.
  4. Sweetman, Sean C., ed. (2009). "Anxiolytic Sedatives Hypnotics and Antipsychotics". Martindale: The complete drug reference (36th ed.). London: Pharmaceutical Press. pp. 1040–1. ISBN 978-0-85369-840-1.
  5. 1 2 da Silva Freire Coutinho E, Fenton M, Quraishi SN (1999). "Zuclopenthixol decanoate for schizophrenia". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. John Wiley and Sons, Ltd. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001164. Retrieved 2007-06-12.
  6. Haessler F, Glaser T, Beneke M, Pap AF, Bodenschatz R, Reis O (2007). "Zuclopenthixol in adults with intellectual disabilities and aggressive behaviours". British Journal of Psychiatry. 190 (5): 447448. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.105.016535. PMID 17470962.
  7. Lundbeck P/L (1991). "Clopixol Acuphase 50 mg/mL Injection Clopixol Acuphase 100 mg / 2 mL Injection". Lundbeck P/L. Retrieved 2007-06-12.
  8. 1 2 Kumar A, Strech D (2005). "Zuclopenthixol dihydrochloride for schizophrenia". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. John Wiley and Sons, Ltd. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD005474. Retrieved 2007-06-12.
  9. Davies SJ, Westin AA, Castberg I, Lewis G, Lennard MS, Taylor S, Spigset O (2010). "Characterisation of zuclopenthixol metabolism by in vitro and therapeutic drug monitoring studies.". Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. 122 (6): 445453. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0447.2010.01619.x.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 https://www.ebs.tga.gov.au/ebs/picmi/picmirepository.nsf/pdf?OpenAgent&id=CP-2010-PI-05705-3
  1. Product information for Zuclopenthixol (CLOPIXOL), provided by the Therapeutic Goods Administrationhttps://www.ebs.tga.gov.au/ebs/picmi/picmirepository.nsf/pdf?OpenAgent&id=CP-2010-PI-05705-3
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