Objective: Tardive dyskinesia (TD), the principal adverse effect of long-term conventional antipsychotic treatment, can be debilitating and, in many cases, persistent. We sought to explore the incidence and management of TD in the era of atypical antipsychotics because it remains an important iatrogenic adverse effect.
Methods: We conducted a review of TD incidence and management literature from January 1, 1965, to January 31, 2004, using the terms tardive dyskinesia, management, therapy, neuroleptics, antipsychotics, clozapine, olanzapine, risperidone, quetiapine, ziprasidone, and aripiprazole. Additional articles were obtained by searching the bibliographies of relevant references. We considered articles that contributed to the current understanding of both the incidence of TD with atypical antipsychotics and management strategies for TD.
Results: The incidence of TD is significantly lower with atypical, compared with typical, antipsychotics, but cases of de novo TD have been identified. Evidence suggests that atypical antipsychotic therapy ameliorates long-standing TD. This paper outlines management strategies for TD in patients with schizophrenia.
Conclusion: The literature supports the recommendation that atypical antipsychotics should be the first antipsychotics used in patients who have experienced TD as a result of treatment with conventional antipsychotic agents. The other management strategies discussed may prove useful in certain patients.