The key difference between tardive dyskinesia and akathisia is that in tardive dyskinesia, patients do not realize they are moving, while in akathisia, patients do realize they are moving, but the movement upsets them.
Tardive dyskinesia and akathisia are two different types of drug-induced movement disorders. Drug-induced movement disorders (DIMDs) are also known as extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS). They occur due to taking drugs such as antipsychotic drugs. Generally, these disorders cause stiff and jerky movements.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Tardive Dyskinesia
3. What is Akathisia
4. Similarities – Tardive Dyskinesia and Akathisia
5. Tardive Dyskinesia vs Akathisia in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Tardive Dyskinesia vs Akathisia
What is Tardive Dyskinesia?
Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a drug-induced movement disorder. Generally, tardive dyskinesia is a side effect of taking antipsychotic medications. These drugs are normally used to treat psychological conditions such as schizophrenia and other mental disorders, including bipolar disorder. It can also be caused by medications used to treat nausea and reflux. Those who are suffering from this condition are not aware of the jerky movements on the face and other body parts. Moreover, not everyone who is taking antipsychotic drugs develops this movement disorder. But if it develops after taking an antipsychotic drug, it will be permanent.
The symptoms of TD are uncontrolled movements in the face, including lips, jaw, and tongue, wiggling the fingers continuously, tapping the feet, flapping the arms, thrusting out of the pelvis, and swaying side to side. These symptoms can be fast or slow and cause people hard to stay active. The causes of TD include antipsychotic medications such as haloperidol, fluphenazine, risperidone, and olanzapine. Nausea and reflux medications such as metoclopramide and prochlorperazine are also causes of TD.
Tardive dyskinesia can be diagnosed through physical examinations, abnormal involuntary movement scale (AIMS), blood tests, and imaging tests like CT scans and MRIs. Furthermore, treatment options for TD include lowering doses of antipsychotic drugs and switching to a newer antipsychotic drug, FDA-approved medicines like deutetrabenazine and valbenazine, natural remedies like ginkgo biloba, melatonin, vitamin B6, and vitamin E.
What is Akathisia?
Akathisia is a movement disorder that causes a feeling of restlessness and an urgent need to move. Those who are suffering from this condition do realize they are moving, but movements upset them. The symptoms of this condition may include rocking back and forth while sitting and standing, shifting the body weight from one to another, walking in place, shuffling while walking, lifting the feet frequently, crossing and uncrossing legs, swinging one leg while sitting, tension, irritability, and impatience. This condition is due to a side effect of taking antipsychotic drugs such as chlorpromazine, flupenthixol, haloperidol, loxapine, molindone, pimozide, prochlorperazine, thioridazine, and trifluoperazine. Moreover, it can also be caused by taking medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), calcium channel blockers, antinausea drugs, drugs for vertigo, and sedatives before surgery.
Akathisia can be diagnosed through physical examinations and blood tests. Furthermore, treatment options for this condition may include taking a lower dose of antipsychotic drugs and switching to newer antipsychotic drugs, taking medicines like blood pressure medicines, benzodiazepines (tranquilizer), anticholinergic drugs, antiviral drugs, and vitamin B6.
What are the Similarities Between Tardive Dyskinesia and Akathisia?
- Tardive dyskinesia and akathisia are two different types of drug-induced movement disorders.
- Both conditions occur due to problems with dopamine.
- They are caused mainly due to taking antipsychotic drugs.
- Both conditions may have similar symptoms, such as stiff, jerky movements.
- They can be diagnosed through physical examination.
- They can be treated by switching to new antipsychotic drugs and taking other FDA-approved specific medicines.
What is the Difference Between Tardive Dyskinesia and Akathisia?
Tardive dyskinesia is a drug-induced movement disorder where patients do not realize they are moving, while akathisia is a drug-induced movement disorder where patients realize that they are moving, but the movement upsets them. So, this is the key difference between tardive dyskinesia and akathisia. Furthermore, the risk factors for tardive dyskinesia include women undergoing menopause, age over 55, abuse of alcohol, and African American and Asian American descent. On the other hand, the risk factors for akathisia include being middle-aged or older adults and suffering from other medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, encephalitis, and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
The below infographic presents the differences between tardive dyskinesia and akathisia in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Tardive Dyskinesia vs Akathisia
Drug-induced movement disorders (DIMDs) are caused by problems in the dopamine levels in the body, which are caused by taking certain antipsychotic drugs and other medications. Tardive dyskinesia and akathisia are two different types of drug-induced movement disorders. Tardive dyskinesia is a drug-induced movement disorder where patients do not realize they are moving, while akathisia is a drug-induced movement disorder where patients realize that they are moving, but the movement upsets them. So, this is the key difference between tardive dyskinesia and akathisia.
1. “Dopamine function before and after antipsychotics” By Mark v1.0 – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Artist’s rendition of Akathisia” By Lincolnwood620 – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia