Background: Tardive dyskinesia is a chronic and disabling abnormal movement disorder affecting the muscles of the face, neck, tongue and the limbs. It is a common side effect of long-term antipsychotic medication use in individuals with schizophrenia and other related psychotic disorders. While there are no known effective treatments for tardive dyskinesia to date, some reports suggest that pyridoxal 5 phosphate may be effective in reducing the severity of tardive dyskinesia symptoms.
Objectives: To determine the effectiveness of pyridoxal 5 phosphate (vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine or Pyridoxal phosphate) in the treatment of neuroleptic-induced tardive dyskinesia among people with schizophrenia and other related psychotic disorders.
Search methods: The Cochrane schizophrenia group's register of clinical trials was searched (January 2013) using the phrase: [*Pyridoxal* OR *Pyridoxine* OR *P5P* OR *PLP* OR *tardoxal* OR *Vitamin B6* O *Vitamin B 6* R in title, abstract or index terms of REFERENCE, or interventions of STUDY. References of relevant identified studies were handsearched and where necessary, the first authors of relevant studies were contacted.
Selection criteria: Studies described as randomised controlled trials comparing the effectiveness pyridoxal 5 phosphate with placebo in the treatment of neuroleptic-induced tardive dyskinesia among patients with schizophrenia.
Data collection and analysis: The review authors independently extracted data from each selected study. For dichotomous data, we calculated risk ratios (RR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) on an intention-to-treat basis based on a fixed-effect model. For continuous data, we calculated mean differences (MD) with 95% CIs, again based on a fixed-effect model. We assessed risk of bias for each included study and used GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) approach to rate quality of evidence.
Main results: Of the 12 records retrieved by the search, three trials published in 2001, 2003 and 2007, involving 80 inpatients with schizophrenia, aged 18 to 71 years, admitted in a psychiatric facility and followed up for a period nine weeks to 26 weeks, were included. Overall, pyridoxal 5 phosphate produced a significant improvement in tardive dyskinesia symptoms when compared with placebo, assessed by a change in Extrapyramidal Symptoms Rating Scale (ESRS) scores from baseline to the end of the first phase of the included studies (2 RCTs n = 65, RR 19.97, CI 2.87 to 139.19, low quality evidence). The endpoint tardive dyskinesia score (a measure of its severity) assessed with the ESRS, was significantly lower among participants on pyridoxal 5 phosphate compared to those on placebo (2 RCTs n = 60, MD -4.07, CI -6.36 to -1.79, low quality evidence).It was unclear whether pyridoxal 5 phosphate led to more side effects (n = 65, 2 RCTs, RR 3.97, CI 0.20 to 78.59, low quality evidence) or caused deterioration in tardive dyskinesia symptoms when compared to placebo (n = 65, 2 RCTs, RR 0.16, CI 0.01 to 3.14, low quality evidence). Five participants taking pyridoxal 5 phosphate withdrew from the study because they were not willing to take more medications while none of the participants taking placebo discontinued their medications (n = 65, 2 RCTs, RR 8.72, CI 0.51 to 149.75, low quality evidence).There was no significant difference in the endpoint positive and negative psychiatric symptoms scores, measured using the Positive and Negative symptoms Scale (PANSS) between participants taking pyridoxal 5 phosphate and those taking placebo. For the positive symptoms: (n = 15, 1 RCT, MD -1.50, CI -4.80 to 1.80, low quality evidence). For negative the symptoms: (n = 15, 1 RCT, MD -1.10, CI -5.92 to 3.72, low quality evidence).
Authors' conclusions: Pyridoxal 5 phosphate may have some benefits in reducing the severity of tardive dyskinesia symptoms among individuals with schizophrenia. However, the quality of evidence supporting the effectiveness of pyridoxal 5 phosphate in treating tardive dyskinesia is low, based on few studies, short follow-up periods, small sample sizes and inadequate adherence to standardised reporting guidelines for randomised controlled trials among the included studies.