PMID: 9546009Apr 18, 1998

Intermittent neuroleptic treatment and risk for tardive dyskinesia: Curaçao Extrapyramidal Syndromes Study III

The American Journal of Psychiatry
Peter N van HartenR S Kahn


The authors examined the association between three lifetime medication variables (cumulative amount of neuroleptics, number of interruptions in neuroleptic treatment, cumulative amount of anticholinergics) and the occurrence and severity of tardive dyskinesia. The study was conducted in the only psychiatric hospital of a well-defined catchment area (the Netherlands Antilles). For all patients who had a history of taking neuroleptics for at least 3 months and were currently using neuroleptics (N = 133, mean age = 51.5 years), the presence and severity of tardive dyskinesia were measured with the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale. Of the three lifetime medication variables, only the number of neuroleptic interruptions was significantly related to tardive dyskinesia. The risk of tardive dyskinesia was three times as great for patients with more than two neuroleptic interruptions as for patients with two or fewer interruptions. This finding supports the schizophrenia protocol of long-term neuroleptic treatment rather than targeted or intermittent neuroleptic treatment.


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