Gamma-aminobutyric acid agonists for neuroleptic-induced tardive dyskinesia

J. Rathbone, J. Deeks, K. Soares*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Chronic antipsychotic drug treatment may cause tardive dyskinesia (TD), a long-term movement disorder. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) agonist drugs, which have intense sedative properties and may exacerbate psychotic symptoms, have been used to treat TD. OBJECTIVES: To determine the effects of GABA agonist drugs (baclofen, gamma-vinyl-GABA, gamma-acetylenic-GABA, progabide, muscimol, sodium valproate and tetrahydroisoxazolopyridine (THIP)) for people with antipsychotic-induced tardive dyskinesia (TD) and schizophrenia or other chronic mental illnesses. SEARCH STRATEGY: We updated the previous Cochrane review by searching the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group Register (September 2003). We searched references for further trial citations and, where possible, contacted authors. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials comparing use of non-benzodiazepine GABA agonist drugs with placebo or no intervention, involving people with schizophrenia or other chronic mental illnesses with signs of antipsychotic-induced TD. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Working independently, we selected and critically appraised studies, extracted data and analysed on an intention-to-treat basis. Where possible and appropriate we calculated risk ratios (RR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) with the number needed to treat (NNT). For continuous data Weighted Mean Differences (WMD) were calculated. MAIN RESULTS: We identified eight small poorly reported studies for inclusion. For the outcome of 'no clinically important improvement in tardive dyskinesia' GABA agonist drugs were not clearly better than placebo (n = 108, RR 0.83 CI 0.6 to 1.1). Deterioration in mental state was more likely to occur in people receiving GABA medication (n = 95, RR 2.47 CI 1.1 to 5.4), but this effect was influenced by the decision to assign a negative outcome to those who dropped out before the end of the study. A greater proportion of people allocated GABA medication may fail to complete the trial compared with those allocated placebo (20% versus 9%), but this difference was not statistically significant (n = 136, RR 1.99 CI 0.8 to 4.7). There is a suggestion of an increase in ataxia (loss of power of muscular coordination) for both baclofen and sodium valproate (n = 95, RR 3.26 CI 0.4 to 30.2), and in sedation (n = 113, RR 2.12 CI 0.8 to 5.4) compared with placebo, but this was not significant. Withdrawal of tetrahydroisoxazolopyridine (THIP) may cause seizures. REVIEWERS' CONCLUSIONS: Evidence of the effects of baclofen, progabide, sodium valproate, or THIP for people with antipsychotic-induced TD is inconclusive and unconvincing. Any possible benefits are likely to be outweighed by the adverse effects associated with their use.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberCD000203
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Gamma-aminobutyric acid agonists for neuroleptic-induced tardive dyskinesia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this