What are the treatment options for Tardive Dyskinesia (TD)?

Once TD develops, some effects may be permanent or take a long time to go away. However, many patients require long term use of antipsychotic medication to treat ongoing mental illness. If TD develops, the first step is to notify the doctor so the medication can be safely adjusted, stopped or switched. The doctor may choose to switch the patient to a different antipsychotic that may lessen TD. Many available treatments for TD offer some benefit to patients, but response to treatment depends on the patient.

New medications have been developed for TD, but may be too expensive for many patients. In addition to these approved medications, other alternative agents have shown mild benefit in treating TD such as gingko biloba and vitamin E.


Treatment is highly individualized. The first step is generally to stop or minimize the use of the neuroleptic drug, but this can be done only under close supervision of the physician.

However, for patients with a severe underlying condition this may not be a feasible option. Replacing the neuroleptic drug with substitute drugs may help some individuals.







Goldberg, Joseph. “Tardive Dyskinesia: Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment.” WebMD, WebMD, 13 Jan. 2019, www.webmd.com/schizophrenia/tardive-dyskinesia#1.

“NAMI.” NAMI, www.nami.org/learn-more/treatment/mental-health-medications/tardive-dyskinesia.

“Tardive Dyskinesia (TD).” Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, www.dbsalliance.org/education/related-concerns/tardive-dyskinesia-td/.

“Tardive Dyskinesia and Movement Disorders.” Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/6125-tardive-dyskinesia.

“Tardive Dyskinesia.” NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders), rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/tardive-dyskinesia/.

“Understanding Tardive Dyskinesia.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, www.mayoclinic.org/understanding-tardive-dyskinesia/scs-20460027.

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