Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of ziprasidone in children and adolescents with Tourette's syndrome and chronic tic disorders.
Method: Twenty-eight patients aged 7 to 17 years were randomly assigned to ziprasidone or placebo for 56 days. Ziprasidone was initiated at a dose of 5 mg/day and flexibly titrated to a maximum of 40 mg/day.
Results: Ziprasidone was significantly more effective than placebo in reducing the Global Severity (p = .016) and Total Tic (p = .008) scores on the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale. Compared with placebo, ziprasidone significantly reduced tic frequencies as determined by blind videotape tic counts (p = .039). The mean (+/- SD) daily dose of ziprasidone during the last 4 weeks of the trial was 28.2 +/- 9.6 mg. Mild transient somnolence was the most common adverse event. No clinically significant effects were observed on specific ratings of extrapyramidal symptoms, akathisia, or tardive dyskinesia.
Conclusions: In this limited sample, ziprasidone (5-40 mg/day) appears to be effective and well tolerated in the treatment of Tourette's syndrome. Ziprasidone may be associated with a lower risk of extrapyramidal side effects in children. However, additional studies are necessary to evaluate more fully its safety and efficacy in children with tic disorders.