TARDIVE DYSTONIA - Overview, Facts, Symptoms, Diagnosis


Tardive dystonia is a neurological movement disorder characterized by persistent muscle contractions that result in repetitive movements, often painful and abnormal. It’s a side effect of certain medications used to treat other illnesses.

Furthermore, facial tics and choreas, which are erratic, dance-like movements, are included in tardive dyskinesias. In addition, Tardive dystonia is a more difficult condition to manage because it can be permanent. Of every ten people, one must suffer from the condition, but it is extremely rare.


The following are the tardive dystonia’s symptoms:

  • Involuntary eye closure
  • Head tilts back
  • Contortion of the trunk
  • Akathisia (inner restlessness feelings)
  • mouth and/or face strange movements
  • Voice problems
  • Movement of the neck or involuntary twisting
  • Internal rotation of wrist flexing, arms, and elbow extension

Furthermore, symptoms of an acute dystonic reaction are:

  • Hyper-extension of the spine
  • Forced opening of the mouth
  • Eyes turned to the side or turned upward
  • mouth and/or face strange movements
  • Head tilts back
  • Problems with swallowing and eating
  • Tongue protrusion

Focal dystonia symptoms can appear days or years after being exposed to the medication.

Also, anxiety and stress have been shown to aggravate the symptoms.


The diagnosis of this disease is typically based on a visual examination of the physical movements.

However, some may experience these effects several times per hour. You may not experience them as frequently, especially if they have only recently begun. If this applies to you, you must describe your episodes to your doctor in as much detail as possible. Based on this, the doctor will run some tests to diagnose your condition accurately and determine your proper treatment procedure.


Typically, the first step is a controlled withdrawal from the medication that caused the problem. It is essential to do this under the supervision of a clinician.

Suppose it is critical that the patient continue to take DRB medication. In that case, the clinician is required to look for different types of DRB medication that will hopefully not cause another reaction.

Furthermore, the following treatments will be used in the future:

  • deep brain stimulation
  • botulinum toxin injections
  • oral medication

If you experience any symptom of tardive dystonia, call a medical expert immediately, especially if your symptoms persist.

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