Objective: The purpose of this trial was to investigate the short-term safety and efficacy of risperidone in the treatment of chronic tic disorders in children and adolescents.
Method: This was an 11-week open-label trial and included seven subjects (five boys and two girls) with a mean age of 12.9 +/- 1.9 years. The sample included five patients with Tourette's syndrome and two with chronic motor tic disorder. The children were seen at baseline and for two follow-up visits. Three children had a comorbid diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Results: Clinical response, as measured by the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale and the Children's version of the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale, revealed a statistically significant reduction in tic scores ranging from 26% [corrected] to 66%. One of three children with comorbid OCD showed substantial improvement; the other two subjects showed no change. The most frequent side effect was weight gain, which ranged from 8 to 14 lb.
Conclusions: Risperidone, a neuroleptic with both serotonin- and dopamine-blocking properties, appears to be effective in reducing tic frequency and intensity in children and adolescents with chronic tic disorders.