Tardive dyskinesia and dexmedetomidine

Tardive dyskinesia and dexmedetomidine

Published: 21 Feb 2018

© Anaesthesia Cases / 2018-0001 / ISSN 2396-8397


Dr James Palmer [1]
  • [1] Consultant, Anaesthetics, Salford Royal, Manchester, United Kingdom


A 52-year-old female patient presented for a caudal epidurogram and epidural steroid injection. Patient compliance was limited by severe tardive dyskinesia secondary to previous chlorpromazine treatment. Based on a report of effectiveness in propofol-induced dyskinesias, an infusion of dexmedetomidine was used which effectively controlled the movements within a few minutes. The patient remained alert and comfortable throughout. This report highlights the pharmacology and clinical application of dexmedetomidine in this clinical scenario, and proposes potential mechanisms underlying this therapeutic effect.

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