Changes in psychopathology and dyskinesia after neuroleptic withdrawal in a double-blind design

Lisa Dixon, Gunvant Thaker, Robert Conley, David Ross, Nicola Cascella, Carol Tamminga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The goal of this study was to assess the time course of change in psychopathology and dyskinesia after neuroleptic withdrawal. Fifteen DSM-III schizophrenic patients were abruptly withdrawn in a double blind fashion from stable haloperidol treatment. Weekly ratings of dyskinesia and psychopathology were performed for 4 weeks post-withdrawal. There was an overall increase in dyskinesia ratings over the 4-week period (p<0.05) beginning in week 2, with dyskinetic movements of the fingers showing the most significant increase (p<0.0001). There were no overall changes in psychopathology, though the group appeared to be bimodal with 6 of the 15 patients showing a significant relapse in psychotic symptoms. Neither baseline TD nor psychotic relapse significantly interacted with change in TD over time. These schizophrenic patients showed an increase in global dyskinesia rating early within four weeks of neuroleptic withdrawal. This time course did not appear to be associated with reemergence of psychopathology which occured later. A significant minority of patients relapsed within this time period. This suggests the relative safety of brief periods of neuroleptic withdrawal for carefully selected patients in a controlled setting with specific goals (e.g., for evaluation or in preparation for clozapine) and the need to further understand who is at risk for rapid relapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-271
Number of pages5
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1993


  • Dyskinesia
  • Neuroleptic withdrawal
  • Psychopathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


Dive into the research topics of 'Changes in psychopathology and dyskinesia after neuroleptic withdrawal in a double-blind design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this