The Many Faces of Huntington's Chorea Treatment: The Impact of Sudden Withdrawal of Tiapride after 40 Years of Use and a Systematic Review

J Pers Med. 2022 Apr 6;12(4):589. doi: 10.3390/jpm12040589.


Huntington's Disease (HD) is a rare, neurodegenerative disorder characterized by chorea, cognitive decline, and behavioral changes. Despite wide clinical use since the mid-1980s, tiapride was recently withdrawn from the Dutch market without rationale. Although alternatives are available, many patients experienced dysregulation after this unwanted change. We provide insight into the impact of sudden tiapride withdrawal by reviewing medical records of HD patients who were using tiapride at the time of withdrawal. In addition, we performed a systematic search in five databases on tiapride efficacy and its safety profile in HD. Original research and expert opinions were included. In our patient group on tiapride, 50% required tiapride import from abroad. Regarding the review, 12 articles on original datasets and three expert opinions were included. The majority of studies showed an improvement in chorea while patients were on tiapride. Due to limited sample sizes, not all studies performed statistical tests on their results. Fifty percent of clinical experts prefer tiapride as initial chorea monotherapy, especially when comorbid behavioral symptoms are present. Side effects are often rare and mild. No safety concerns were reported. In conclusion, tiapride is almost irreplaceable for some patients and is an effective and safe chorea treatment in HD.

Keywords: Huntington’s Disease; antipsychotics; chorea; movement disorders; neuroleptic; patients; pharmacology; therapeutic use; tiapridal; tiapride hydrochloride.

Publication types

  • Review