Explains what tardive dyskinesia is, what causes it and what you can do to manage it.
There's no typical or guaranteed treatment for TD – what will work, or what you want to try, will be individual to you. This page covers:
If you think you might be experiencing signs and symptoms of tardive dyskinesia (TD), it's really important to seek help as soon as possible. This will give you the best chance of getting rid of them.
But even if you continue having TD symptoms, there are still lots of things you can do to help yourself cope.
"Thankfully I saw an understanding GP who took me off the antipsychotic and contacted my psychiatrist to change me to another more suitable medication."
If you identify the signs of TD early and are able to stop or change your medication, it might eventually go away completely. TD symptoms do improve in about half of people who stop taking antipsychotics – although they might not improve right away, and may take up to five years to go.
However, for some people TD may continue indefinitely, even after stopping or changing medication.
It's also important to bear in mind:
"Over a period of a couple of years my psychiatrist made medication changes and the symptoms eventually abated. I know I run the risk of them returning as I still am on quite a lot of medication."
"I gradually stepped down my antipsychotics over two months using diazepam to help with the muscle pain/ spasm and mindfulness to help focus my moods and anxiety."
You could ask your doctor if any of these could be a treatment option for you:
Studies suggest that some supplements or herbal medicines which can be bought over the counter (without a prescription) may help with TD, although more research is needed to be sure.
It's important to talk to a doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medications, including over-the-counter drugs, as some drugs could interact with each other badly. It's also important to always follow the instructions on the packet.
(See our page on herbal remedies for more information.)
"I have been prescribed clonazepam for agitation whilst unwell, which helped the TD. This was not the reason it was prescribed, although it was a 'happy side effect' as such."
This information was published in April 2018. We will revise it in 2021.
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