Miscellaneous treatments for antipsychotic-induced tardive dyskinesia

Karla Soares-Weiser, John Rathbone, Yusuke Ogawa, Kiyomi Shinohara, Hanna Bergman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Antipsychotic (neuroleptic) medication is used extensively to treat people with chronic mental illnesses. Its use, however, is associated with adverse effects, including movement disorders such as tardive dyskinesia (TD) - a problem often seen as repetitive involuntary movements around the mouth and face. This review, one in a series examining the treatment of TD, covers miscellaneous treatments not covered elsewhere. 

Objectives: To determine whether drugs, hormone-, dietary-, or herb-supplements not covered in other Cochrane reviews on TD treatments, surgical interventions, electroconvulsive therapy, and mind-body therapies were effective and safe for people with antipsychotic-induced TD. 

Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group's Study-Based Register of Trials including trial registers (16 July 2015 and 26 April 2017), inspected references of all identified studies for further trials and contacted authors of trials for additional information. 

Selection criteria: We included reports if they were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) dealing with people with antipsychotic-induced TD and schizophrenia or other chronic mental illnesses who remained on their antipsychotic medication and had been randomly allocated to the interventions listed above versus placebo, no intervention, or any other intervention. 

Data collection and analysis: We independently extracted data from these trials and we estimated risk ratios (RR) or mean differences (MD), with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). We assumed that people who left early had no improvement. We assessed risk of bias and created 'Summary of findings' tables using GRADE. 

Main results: We included 31 RCTs of 24 interventions with 1278 participants; 22 of these trials were newly included in this 2017 update. Five trials are awaiting classification and seven trials are ongoing. All participants were adults with chronic psychiatric disorders, mostly schizophrenia, and antipsychotic-induced TD. Studies were primarily of short (three to six6 weeks) duration with small samples size (10 to 157 participants), and most (61%) were published more than 20 years ago. The overall risk of bias in these studies was unclear, mainly due to poor reporting of allocation concealment, generation of the sequence, and blinding. Nineteen of the 31 included studies reported on the primary outcome 'No clinically important improvement in TD symptoms'. Two studies found moderate-quality evidence of a benefit of the intervention compared with placebo: valbenazine (RR 0.63, 95% CI 0.46 to 0.86, 1 RCT, n = 92) and extract of Ginkgo biloba (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.81 to 0.96, 1 RCT, n = 157), respectively. However, due to small sample sizes we cannot be certain of these effects. We consider the results for the remaining interventions to be inconclusive: Low- to very low-quality evidence of a benefit was found for buspirone (RR 0.53, 95% CI 0.33 to 0.84, 1 RCT, n = 42), dihydrogenated ergot alkaloids (RR 0.45, 95% CI 0.21 to 0.97, 1 RCT, n = 28), hypnosis or relaxation, (RR 0.45, 95% CI 0.21 to 0.94, 1 study, n = 15), pemoline (RR 0.48, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.77, 1 RCT, n = 46), promethazine (RR 0.24, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.55, 1 RCT, n = 34), insulin (RR 0.52, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.96, 1 RCT, n = 20), branched chain amino acids (RR 0.79, 95% CI 0.63 to 1.00, 1 RCT, n = 52), and isocarboxazid (RR 0.24, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.71, 1 RCT, n = 20). There was low- to very low-certainty evidence of no difference between intervention and placebo or no treatment for the following interventions: melatonin (RR 0.89, 95% CI 0.71 to 1.12, 2 RCTs, n = 32), lithium (RR 1.59, 95% CI 0.79 to 3.23, 1 RCT, n = 11), ritanserin (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.70 to 1.43, 1 RCT, n = 10), selegiline (RR 1.37, 95% CI 0.96 to 1.94, 1 RCT, n = 33), oestrogen (RR 1.18, 95% CI 0.76 to 1.83, 1 RCT, n = 12), and gamma-linolenic acid (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.69 to 1.45, 1 RCT, n = 16). None of the included studies reported on the other primary outcome, 'no clinically significant extrapyramidal adverse effects'. 

Authors' conclusions: This review has found that the use of valbenazine or extract of Ginkgo biloba may be effective in relieving the symptoms of tardive dyskinesia. However, since only one RCT has investigated each one of these compounds, we are awaiting results from ongoing trials to confirm these results. Results for the remaining interventions covered in this review must be considered inconclusive and these compounds probably should only be used within the context of a well-designed evaluative study.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberCD000208
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2018


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