Food and Behaviour Research

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Vitamin B6 in treatment of tardive dyskinesia: a preliminary case series study

Lerner, V., Kaptsan, A., Miodownik, C., Kotler, M. (1999) Clin Neuropharmacol 22(4) 241-3. 

Web URL: View this and related abstracts via PubMed here.


Tardive dyskinesia (TD) remains a significant problem for patients and physicians. Several reports have suggested that vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) can be helpful in the treatment of some neuroleptic-induced movement disorders, including parkinsonism and TD.

This report presents the results of a preliminary study of five patients with TD who underwent a four week open-label clinical trial of vitamin B6 (100 mg/d) in addition to their regular medications.

The severity of the involuntary movements was assessed using the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS), Barnes Akathisia Rating Scale (BARS) and the Simpson-Angus Scale (SAS). The patients' clinical status was assessed with the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS).

With the addition of vitamin B6 to their treatment, four patients had clinically significant (greater than 30%) improvement on the measures of involuntary movement and, in three cases, there was also clinically significant improvement on the BPRS. None of the patients had side effects attributable to vitamin B6.

The results suggest that vitamin B6 may alleviate TD, but it will need to be further tested in controlled double-blind trials.


'Tardive dyskinesia' (TD) refers to a movement disorder that can result from treatment with some antipsychotic medications. It is usually both disabling and distressing to patients - hence ways to reduce these negative side-effects are needed.

This small pilot study provides preliminary evidence that supplementation with Vitamin B6 might be of benefit in patients with TD.  These findings require confirmation via randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled trials, but given the safety and low cost of supplementation with Vitamin B6, they are of obvious interest to patients with TD and their clinicians.