- Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services
- July 2011 - Volume 49 · Issue 7: 17-20
Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a serious complication associated with the long-term use of dopamine receptor-blocking drugs. No drugs are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating TD. A number of drugs appear to have some benefit for its treatment, including branched-chain amino acids, piracetam (Nootropil®, Nootrop®, Nootropyl®), clonazepam (Klonopin®), levetiracetam (Keppra®), propranolol (Inderal®), and clonidine (Catapres®), and they would be clinically reasonable to try. Gabapentin (Neurontin® and others) has a good safety profile and would be appropriate to consider, although no controlled trials confirm its efficacy. The efficacy of ginkgo biloba should be balanced against its safety concerns. Essential fatty acids have not been shown to be effective. Antioxidant therapies, including vitamin E, melatonin, and vitamin B6, could conceivably be used together with other drug therapies for the treatment of TD.
Dr. Howland is Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The author discloses that he has no significant financial interests in any product or class of products discussed directly or indirectly in this activity, including research support.
Address correspondence to Robert H. Howland, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, 3811 O’Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213; e-mail: .HowlandRH@upmc.edu