Use of trihexyphenidyl in children with cerebral palsy

Pediatr Neurol. 2011 Mar;44(3):202-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2010.09.008.


A paucity of information exists regarding medications to treat dystonia in children with cerebral palsy. This study sought to review the benefits and tolerability of trihexyphenidyl in children with cerebral palsy, treated for dystonia or sialorrhea or both in a pediatric tertiary care hospital, through a retrospective chart review. In total, 101 patients (61 boys and 40 girls) were evaluated. The mean age at drug initiation was 7 years and 10 months (range, 1-18 years). The mean initial dose was 0.095 mg/kg/day. The dose was increased by 10-20% no sooner than every 2 weeks. The mean maximum dose reached was 0.55 mg/kg/day. Ninety-three patients (91%) tolerated the medication well, with a mean duration of treatment of 3 years and 7 months. Side effects occurred in 69% of subjects, the majority in patients aged ≥7 years, and soon after treatment initiation. Sixty-four percent continued the treatment at study end. Ninety-seven patients reported benefits, including reduction of dystonia in upper (59.4%) and lower (37.6%) extremities, sialorrhea (60.4%), and speech issues (24.7%). The majority of patients tolerated trihexyphenidyl well on a schedule of gradual dose increases, and almost all demonstrated improvements in dystonia or sialorrhea or both.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications
  • Cerebral Palsy / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dystonia / drug therapy
  • Dystonia / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Muscarinic Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sialorrhea / drug therapy
  • Sialorrhea / etiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Trihexyphenidyl / therapeutic use*


  • Muscarinic Antagonists
  • Trihexyphenidyl