About TD

Long-term use of some medicines used to treat mental health conditions, including bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia, can cause individuals to have uncontrollable body movements from a neurological condition called tardive dyskinesia (TD).  TD presents itself as involuntary, repetitive, jerking movements that occur in the face, neck, limbs, torso and tongue.  These movements can be uncomfortable or painful.

The symptoms of TD might continue even when the medication is stopped.  Up to 30% of patients who receive long-term treatment with an antipsychotic may develop TD.   Individuals with TD report that it affects their ability to do everyday activities, ability to sleep, and work.   Anyone taking an antipsychotic may develop TD, but certain factors increase the risk such as being elderly, being female, having diabetes or having other mental illnesses.

Patients may develop TD after a few months of treatment, but many develop TD after several years.  It is unlikely for a patient to develop TD if an antipsychotic is taken for a short period of time.  Patients taking long-term antipsychotics should have their doctor closely monitor them for signs of TD.

Diagnosing TD early may reduce the severity of the side effects.  Once TD develops, some effects may be permanent or take a long time to go away.  Tardive dyskinesia affects more than 500,00 Americans, but greater awareness and destigmatization of the condition is still needed.  

Treatments for TD

Because many individuals require long-term use of antipsychotic medication to treat ongoing mental illness, medication can be adjusted, stopped or substituted if TD develops.  Available treatments for TD offer some benefit to patients, but response to treatment depends on the patient.  While medications have been developed for TD, many are expensive. 

In addition to approved medications, other alternative agents have shown mild benefit in treating TD such as  gingko biloba and vitamin E.


Information provided by NAMI and Movement Disorders Policies Coalition.


More Information and Resources

TD Infographic 2022
TD Fact Sheet
TD Telehealth Fact Sheet
Test Your TD Knowledge Fact Sheet

Learn more about TD at our TD Lunch and Learn Event



Attend “Taking an Antipsychotic?  What you need to know about Tardive Dyskinesia” 

Date/Time:  Tuesday, October 4, 2022, 11:30am to 12:30pm

NAMI Pinellas and National Organization for Tardive Dyskinesia are a proud co-hosting partner.

Sponsored by:  NAMI  

Register today!


Questions or need more information about the event?  Contact Jessica Kushner, Program Coordinator