Tardive Dyskinesia Symptoms

Tardive dyskinesia symptoms range in severity from mild to severe, and include involuntary movements of the tongue, jaw, face or extremities. Tardive means "delayed" and dyskinesia means "abnormal movement."

The most common symptoms include facial grimacing and jaw swinging; repetitive movements like chewing, lip smacking and tongue thrusting; involuntary movements of the arms, legs, fingers and toes; and swaying movements of the hips and trunk.

Symptoms can include random movements throughout the body, but mainly affect the facial muscles. The following are symptoms broken down into categories:

Face Symptoms

  • Tongue thrusting
  • Lip smacking
  • Vertical or horizontal chewing movement in the jaw
  • Eyebrow distortion
  • Frowning
  • Eye blinking

Trunk Symptoms

  • Hip rocking
  • Swaying of the trunk
  • Irregular diaphragm contractions
  • Head nodding
  • Rocking the upper torso
  • Shoulder shrugging

Extremities Symptoms

  • Piano playing movements in the fingers
  • Rotatory and flexion movements of the wrists
  • Stamping movements of the legs

Drugs Linked to Tardive Dyskinesia

Tardive dyskinesia is a side effect of Reglan® (metoclopramide), a drug used to treat gastrointestinal issues. The medication is prescribed to relieve symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, heartburn and loss of appetite in certain diabetes patients. It is also used to help prevent nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients and in patients before certain surgeries.

The movement disorder has also been linked to long-term use of antipsychotic (neuroleptics) medications, which are used to treat psychiatric disorders such as psychoses.

The following is a list of antipsychotic medications or neuroleptics:

  • Abilify® (aripiprazole)
  • Prolixin®/Modecate (fluphenazine)
  • Thorazine® (chlorpromazine)
  • Piportil (pipotiazine)
  • Clozaril® (clozapine)
  • Trilafon (perphenazine)
  • Haldol® (haloperidol)
  • Orap® (pimozide)
  • Seroquel® (quetiapine)
  • Stelazine® (trifluoperazine)
  • Risperdal® (risperidone)
  • Mellaril (thioridazine)
  • Serentil® (mesoridazine)
  • Navane® (thiothixine)
  • Zyprexa® (olanzapine)

In most cases, symptoms of tardive dyskinesia will cease when the patient stops taking the drug that is causing them. In some cases, however, symptoms might persist and even get worse after the patient stops taking the medication.

Symptoms can be embarrassing for patients, especially when in public. This can affect a person's relationships and cause him or her to withdraw socially. The more severe cases can have negative effects on a patient's quality of life and self-esteem, especially if they are permanent.

If you or someone you love has been treated with Reglan® or a neuroleptic medication and have developed severe symptoms of tardive dyskinesia, you may be eligible for financial compensation. To speak with a tardive dyskinesia attorney about your individual circumstances, please contact us today.