Motor and mental side effects of clozapine

J Clin Psychiatry. 1994 Sep;55 Suppl B:107-9.


Long-term experience with clozapine has shown that the agent has a motor and mental side effect profile that is distinct in many ways from classical neuroleptics. It can produce a parkinsonian-like bradykinesia and mild akathisia, but no rigidity and rarely tremor. In patients with tardive dyskinesia induced by other neuroleptics, clozapine permits the dyskinesia to disappear in about half the cases. That clozapine may induce tardive dyskinesia in extremely rare cases cannot be excluded, but it seems more likely that this tardive dyskinesia in clozapine-treated patients is due to previous treatment with classical neuroleptics. The earlier clozapine is started, the less chance for development of tardive dyskinesia. As do other neuroleptics, clozapine can elicit sedation and asthenia, but corresponding to the motoric extrapyramidal syndrome, clozapine causes emotional indifference ("mental parkinsonism"), depression, and restlessness to a significantly lesser degree, which may be of importance in the higher compliance seen with this drug.

MeSH terms

  • Affective Symptoms / chemically induced
  • Affective Symptoms / epidemiology
  • Akathisia, Drug-Induced / epidemiology
  • Akathisia, Drug-Induced / etiology*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects
  • Asthenia / chemically induced
  • Asthenia / epidemiology
  • Basal Ganglia Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Clozapine / adverse effects*
  • Clozapine / therapeutic use
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced / epidemiology
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced / etiology
  • Dystonia / chemically induced
  • Dystonia / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease, Secondary / chemically induced
  • Parkinson Disease, Secondary / epidemiology
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Clozapine