Thorazine: Chemical Lobotomy?

by | Feb 2, 2011

What are some of the major Thorazine side effects?


Dubbed by some, a chemical lobotomy, from its inception-the main purpose of the psychiatric drug Thorazine has been to keep mental patients quiet and manageable.


In 1952, French psychiatrists, Dr. Delay and Dr. Deniker, asserted that Thorazine was their new “wonder drug” to treat mental patients,1
“Sitting or lying, the patient is motionless in his bed, often pale and with eyelids lowered. He remains silent most of the time. If he is questioned, he answers slowly and deliberately in a monotonous and indifferent voice; he expresses himself in a few words and becomes silent”. Dr. Heinz Lehmann, a Canadian psychiatrist who used Thorazine as his treatment of choice in the 1950s, described the aim of the drug as “emotional indifference.”


What are some of the common Thorazine side effects admitted to today? One of the worst and most common side effects (especially for older patients) is tardive dyskinesia. This is a disorder that involves involuntary movements, especially of the lower face. Tardive means “delayed” and dyskinesia means “abnormal movement.” This Thorazine side effect may become permanent or more intense, even if the drug is stopped.2


Medline Plus mentions Chlorpromazine (thorazine) as one of the psychiatric drugs most likely to cause this side effect.


One online review of thorazine described tardive dyskinesia in greater detail:

  • Facial grimacing
  • Finger movement
  • Jaw swinging
  • Repetitive chewing
  • Tongue thrusting

Another site mentioned the tongue making “worm-like” motions. 


Some other severe Thorazine side effects:


rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest or throat; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); changes in breasts; changes in menstrual period; changes in vision; chest pain; chills; confusion; difficulty swallowing; difficulty urinating; drooling; extreme tiredness; fever; inability to move eyes, jitteriness; lip smacking or puckering; mask-like face; muscle spasms of the face, neck, or back; prolonged or painful erection; puffing of cheeks; rigid muscles; seizures; shuffling walk; skin discoloration; sleeplessness; sore throat; stiff arms or legs; tremors of hands; twitching or twisting movements; weakness of arms or legs; yellowing of the skin or eyes.


Some have referred to Thorazine as a chemical lobotomy. The following is a quote from Hidden,


“The blunting of conscious motivation, and the inability to solve problems under the influence of chlorpromazine (Thorazine) resembles nothing so much as the effects of frontal lobotomy. . . Research has suggested that lobotomies and chemicals like chlorpromazine may cause their effects in the same way, by disrupting the activity of the neurochemical, dopamine. At any rate, a psychiatrist would be hard put to distinguish a lobotomized patient from one treated with chlorpromazine.’ – Peter Sterling, neuroanatomist, article Psychiatry’s Drug Addiction, New Republic magazine (March 3, 1979)”


Thorazine side effects have been well documented, and are cause for many lawsuits nationwide.


Since depression may be caused by an underlying physical condition, it may be possible to handle it through examination and recommendation by a competent doctor or nutritionist. It is often possible to treat depression naturally, without the danger of psychotropic drug side effects.3




  1. Ben

    From the time I was 13 years old A.K.A. 1995 till I was 17 years old A.K.A. 1999 they had me on Thorazine and had raised my dosage more than 20 times with the first dosage being 15.5 M.G’s twice daily and the final 90 M.G’s once daily.
    I never felt or even acted any differently when taking it vs. Not taking it so they took me off of it.
    The only thing I noticed was after being on it for so long I now only poo once a week usually either Saturday, Sunday or Monday.

  2. Lawrence Ingle

    My brother locked up in Indiana was forced to take it for over 20 years. He is now totally blind.

  3. Jamea

    I have severe depression due to it at eleven years old was given for four months depressed now I lived depresead

  4. John hunt

    Can you have this done to you against your will ? Or because of slander against you ?or because of two false charges made against you?

    • CCHR

      A person being held in a facility can be administered drugs under an emergency treatment order.

  5. Antonio Franco Bella

    An Analog of Thorazine: Talofen is being sold in Europe for human consumption while FDA approved promazine is for veterinary use only! I have been forced to take such drug for a long time and effort to ensure brain integrity

  6. Jane Peters

    These drugs should be outlawed. They don’t even help the patient. And they cause brain damage.

    • George

      Yes I’ve been depressed and suicidal ever since I took that drug that would help me think clearer what a joke

  7. Percy Dash

    Is it possible to be compensated for damage done in one childhood, due to being prescribed this drug?

    • CCHR

      You would need to contact an attorney to find out if you have an actionable case. If you live in Florida please call our office and we can provide you with a list of possible attorneys.

  8. Wilbert Lee Ellis

    Dose the thorazian make you shake your arm’s and walk in


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