by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a movement disorder. It results from using medicines used to treat psychiatric problems, like schizophrenia.
TD causes repeating movements you can’t control. They may affect the face, limbs, or trunk.
TD is caused by chronic use of certain antipsychotic medicines.
It is not known why TD happens. Not all people who take these drugs get TD.
TD is more common in women. It is also more common in older adults. Other things that may raise your risk are:
Movements may be once and a while or all of the time. They may or may not be noticed by others. Symptoms may start while on the medicine or within weeks of stopping it.
You may have:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. There is no specific test for TD. It is suspected if you are taking these medicines and have movements you can’t control.
Tests to rule out other disorders may include:
To treat TD, your doctor may:
Symptoms may get better over time even if you keep taking the medicine. Younger people tend to do better.
Some medicines may help lower symptoms, such as:
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) may be used on people who do not respond to medicine.
To help reduce your chances of TD from an antipsychotic drug:
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Canadian Mental Health Association
Mental Health Canada
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Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 6/13/2018
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