Revisiting Tardive Dyskinesia: Focusing on the Basics of Identification and Treatment

J Clin Psychiatry. 2020 Feb 18;81(2):TV18059AH3C. doi: 10.4088/JCP.TV18059AH3C.


The use of second-generation antipsychotics has not eliminated tardive dyskinesia (TD), and the prevalence of the disorder is higher than commonly realized. The involuntary movements of TD can decrease patients' quality of life, cause embarrassment, and lead to social withdrawal. Clinicians must evaluate patients taking DRBAs for TD risk factors and regularly screen them for TD using a rating scale. Familiarity with tools and diagnostic criteria will enable clinicians to conduct a differential diagnosis. Once a diagnosis is made, medications approved by the US Food and Drug Administration can be used to treat the condition. These medications are effective, but clinicians should be aware of key differences. A baseline assessment and regular follow-up evaluations will allow the clinician to monitor the patient's progress and make adjustments to meet treatment goals.​.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Adult
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dopamine Antagonists / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*
  • Tardive Dyskinesia / chemically induced
  • Tardive Dyskinesia / diagnosis*
  • Tardive Dyskinesia / drug therapy*
  • Tardive Dyskinesia / etiology*
  • Tetrabenazine / administration & dosage
  • Tetrabenazine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Tetrabenazine / pharmacology
  • Valine / administration & dosage
  • Valine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Valine / pharmacology
  • Vesicular Monoamine Transport Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors
  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • SLC18A2 protein, human
  • Vesicular Monoamine Transport Proteins
  • valbenazine
  • Valine
  • deutetrabenazine
  • Tetrabenazine