NYMC Faculty Publications


Clinical Management of Tardive Dyskinesia: Five Steps to Success

Document Type


Publication Date

December 2017


Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


Tardive dyskinesia (TD) has long been thought to be a generally irreversible consequence of the use of dopamine receptor blocking agents. There is now an opportunity to successfully manage this condition with agents approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. This is important because TD has not been eliminated with the use of second-generation antipsychotics, and the expansion of antipsychotics to treat conditions other than schizophrenia has resulted in millions of additional individuals at risk for developing TD. Recognition of TD requires careful observation; a structured approach using the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale is encouraged. Harm reduction can be achieved by using antipsychotics judiciously when possible and by paying attention to other modifiable risk factors such as drug-induced parkinsonian symptoms and the use of anticholinergic medication. Once TD has emerged and is associated with dysfunction or distress, treatment with a VMAT2 inhibitor such as deutetrabenazine or valbenazine is well supported by several controlled clinical trials.