What is tardive dyskinesia?

Mild to severe twitching, shaking, or jerking in the hands, feet, face, or torso are signs of tardive dyskinesia (TD). Involuntary blinking, tongue movements, and other unintentional, uncontrollable movements can also be signs of TD.1,2

Recognizing symptoms

Have you experienced any of the following? Click below to see how the signs of TD may appear.1 Only your doctor can confirm if you have TD.

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Uncontrollable Tongue Movements

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Uncontrollable Finger Tapping

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Constant Blinking

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Unintentional Arm AND Leg Movements

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Involuntary Facial Grimacing

What causes TD?

Tardive dyskinesia is associated with certain prescription medications used to treat mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. One in four people who are taking certain mental health medications may develop uncontrollable movements of TD. TD is also linked to some medications used to treat gastrointestinal conditions.1-3

Signs and symptoms can appear as early as 3 months after a person starts taking antipsychotics or antidepressants, and the risk increases the longer the individual is taking one of these drugs.3,4

Drugs that may cause tardive dyskinesia2:

  • Antipsychotics
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Antiemetics

A Patient’s Perspective

Raven's tardive dyskinesia story.

This patient has received compensation.
Patient image is being used with permission.

“People would ask me if I was on drugs because my body was always moving. I didn’t realize what was happening.”

— Raven C. On recognizing his tardive dyskinesia


Find support for your TD journey.

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Tardive dyskinesia is personal and affects everyone differently.1,2

TD symptoms vary from person to person, and may be mild, moderate, or severe, but even mild symptoms can have an impact. Some people have movements in one area of the body while others have them in multiple areas.

TD Severity Range: The sympoms may vary from person to person. Some have movements in one area and others have them in multiple body areas.Group Mobile

People with TD often have a variety of underlying medical conditions, including schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, and gastrointestinal issues. These different medical conditions require different treatment plans.

Are any of these everyday activities affected by unintentional, uncontrollable movements?

TD may impact your daily life more than you realize. Answer this one-question poll to see how your experience compares to others.

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References: 1. Warikoo N, Schwartz T, Citrome L. Tardive dyskinesia. In: Schwartz TL, Megna J, Topel ME, eds. Antipsychotic drugs. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers. 2013:235-258. 2. Waln O, Jankovic J. An Update on Tardive Dyskinesia: From Phenomenology to Treatment. Tremor Other Hyperkinet Mov. 2013;3:1-11. 3. Tardive dyskinesia. National Alliance on Mental Illness website. Accessed July 26, 2019. 4. Caroff SN, Miller D, Dhopesh V, et al. Is there a rational management strategy for tardive dyskinesia? Current Psychiatry. 2011;10(10):22-32. 5. Sharing the impact of tardive dyskinesia. NAMI website. Accessed July 26, 2019. 6. Understanding TD. Mind website. Accessed July 26, 2019.

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