Side Effects of Navane (Thiothixine)

Man with forehead resting on hand, close-up, blurred effect

C. Thatcher / Getty Images

Navane—which also goes by its generic name, thiothixene—is an anti-psychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia and psychotic features of other conditions, including bipolar disorder.

It is important to note that this drug is rarely used today in the treatment of psychosis. Second-generation agents are used most often and when older first-generation drugs are prescribed, haloperidol (Haldol) or perphenazine (Trilafon) are the most common. 

As with all prescription drugs, Navane comes with the risk of side effects, some of them serious. It also can cause withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it, which can be managed by your physician.

Here's some information on the side effects you should watch out for when taking Navane.

Most Dangerous Side Effects 

Navane potentially can cause tardive dyskinesia, which is a condition that causes your muscles to move involuntarily. This is a rare side effect: fewer than one in every 100 people who have taken anti-psychotic medications develops it. But if you do develop tardive dyskinesia, it may not be reversible even if you stop taking Navane.

When you have tardive dyskinesia, your tongue may stick out, your mouth or jaw may move or smack involuntarily, and the muscles in your limbs may contract or move without you consciously deciding to move them.

Tardive dyskinesia tends to develop in long-term users of Navane and similar drugs, but it can occur even if you've only been taking the drug a short time. Women and the elderly are at a higher risk for this serious side effect than other people for whom Navane may be prescribed.

If you experience any involuntary muscle movements while taking Navane, inform your doctor immediately—she may decide to change your medications.

There's another potentially fatal neurological condition that may be caused by Navane called neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Symptoms of the neuroleptic malignant syndrome include muscle stiffness, changes in mood or consciousness, a very high fever (in the range of 102 to 104 degrees), and rapid breathing. These symptoms represent a medical emergency, so if you experience them while taking Navane, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Common Side Effects 

There's a long list of more common but less serious side effects associated with Navane. These include:

  • Constipation
  • Decreased sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Mild drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased appetite and weight gain
  • Increased sun sensitivity
  • Stuffy nose

Contact your physician if any of these side effects persist or if they interfere with your daily life—she may be able to adjust your dose or your medications to lessen their effects.

Less Common Side Effects

Navane also can cause the following less common side effects:

  • Changes in menstrual period
  • Decreased sexual ability
  • Swelling of breasts in both males and females
  • Unusual secretion of milk

There's also a risk of liver damage with Navane. Signs of this can include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue and flu-like symptoms
  • Loss of appetite
  • Itching
  • Jaundice (yellow skin or eyes)
  • Darkened urine

These symptoms are potentially serious, so you should contact your physician immediately if you experience any of them. Navane also can cause eye damage, so call your doctor right away if you have changes in vision, especially reductions in your night vision.

Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  • Merrill RM et al. Tardive and Spontaneous Dyskinesia Incidence in the General Population. BMC Psychiatry. 2013,;13:152.

  • National Library of Medicine. Tardive Dyskinesia fact sheet. 

  • National Library of Medicine. Thiothixene fact sheet. 
  • Physicians' Desk Reference. Navane fact sheet. 

By Marcia Purse
Marcia Purse is a mental health writer and bipolar disorder advocate who brings strong research skills and personal experiences to her writing.