7-Hydroxychlorpromazine: Potential Toxic Drug Metabolite in Psychiatric Patients

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Science  02 Oct 1964:
Vol. 146, Issue 3640, pp. 81-83
DOI: 10.1126/science.146.3640.81


7-Hydroxychlorpromazine was isolated from liver and urine of psychiatric patients treated with high dosages of chlorpromazine for long periods. These patients developed a purple pigmentation limited to areas of skin exposed to sunlight, as well as opacities of the cornea and lens. Large amounts of melanin were found only in the pigmented skin. It seems likely that a toxic compound is produced by the action of ultraviolet light on a 7-hydroxylated chlorpromazine derivative deposited in skin, cornea, and lens, and that this in turn leads to excessive melanin production and eye changes.