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Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2008 Mar;21(2):151-6. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e3282f53132.

Tardive dyskinesia and new antipsychotics.

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  • 1The Zucker Hillside Hospital, North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, Glen Oaks, NY 11004, USA.



To provide an update on tardive dyskinesia rates in patients treated with first-generation or second-generation antipsychotics in studies published since the last systematic review in 2004.


Across 12 trials (n = 28 051, age 39.7 years, 59.7% male, 70.9% white, followed for 463 925 person-years), the annualized tardive dyskinesia incidence was 3.9% for second-generation antipsychotics and 5.5% for first-generation antipsychotics. Stratified by age, annual tardive dyskinesia incidence rates were 0.35% with second-generation antipsychotics in children, 2.98% with second-generation antipsychotics versus 7.7% with first-generation antipsychotics (P < 0.0001) in adults, and 5.2% with second-generation antipsychotics versus 5.2% with first-generation antipsychotics (P = 0.865) in the elderly (based almost exclusively on one retrospective cohort study). In four adult studies (n = 2088, age 41.2 years, 71.2% male, 62.0% white), tardive dyskinesia prevalence rates were 13.1% for second-generation antipsychotics, 15.6% for antipsychotic-free patients, and 32.4% for first-generation antipsychotics (P < 0.0001).


Current evidence supports a lower tardive dyskinesia risk for second-generation antipsychotics than for first-generation antipsychotics. Tardive dyskinesia incidence was higher with second-generation antipsychotics than previously reported, possibly due to recent studies with relatively short mean durations and use of nonstandard tardive dyskinesia definitions.

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