Natural Treatment for Tardive Dyskinesia (TD)

| Modified on Jul 03, 2022
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Tardive Dyskinesia, a condition that affects the nervous system, is typically caused by long-term use of certain psychiatric drugs.  Certain supplements and natural remedies can sometimes help the condition.

The condition is characterized by Involuntary muscle tics, the unfortunate consequence of long-term antipsychotic medication use.

Natural Supplements for Tardive Dyskinesia

Below are a few of the natural remedies that are commonly used to reduce or treat the symptoms of Tardive Dyskinesia.

  • Branched Chain Amino Acids
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Gingko Biloba
  • Lecithin
  • Melatonin
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin E
  • Piracetam

Earth Clinic Reader Suggestions

Joseph from Stockton, CA has over a decade of experience treating Tardive Dyskinesia in his son, as you will read below in our reader review section. His remedies worked for a number of years.

His regimen includes:

  • Manganese
  • BCAA
  • B6

Please write to us and let us know the remedies that you have tried to help treat TD and whether or not they worked. Thank you!




Ginger Root Extract

1 User Review
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Posted by Joseph A. (Stockton, CA) on 11/25/2021 75 posts
5 out of 5 stars

I forgot to address the question regarding my son and Ginger root extract. He only had 1 occasion to take it and he liked the taste, 15 minutes his anxiety attack was gone, however it wasn't a severe anxiety attack, therefore I can't say one way or the other whether it truly works. I have increased his Acetylcarnitine from 500mg AM to adding 1000mg in evening = 1,500 mg daily. I know that helps and I take it myself for sleep. Feel free to ask me anything at any time. I must say Ted who I never met or dealt with must have really been an intelligent person, so many people miss him and I have read some of his replies, very brilliant. Thank you, Joseph.

Replied by Anne
(Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada)
07/03/2022

Does Ginger Root Extract really help with tardive dyskinesia and does acetylcarnitine help with tardive dyskinesia? I have been on it for 4 weeks no change yet.


Manganese, BCAA, B6

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Posted by Joseph (Stockton, CA) on 06/26/2021 75 posts
5 out of 5 stars

Tardive Dyskinesia:

I strongly suggest, if just starting on Antipsychotic meds, that you also take manganese 15mg 3X daily.

There was a study of hundreds of Drs and thousands of patients for approx., 10yrs and 0.5 contracted Tardive Dyskinesia, I think it was a Dr Dawkins study. If you have TD this formula worked significantly for my son.

Week 1:

  • Take 1,000mg of BCAA (branch chain amino acid) 3X daily.
  • Take B6 100mg once daily.

Week 2:

  • Take 2,000mg BCAA 3Xdaily.
  • Take B6 100mg 3X Daily.

Once you feel significantly better, take that same dosage of pills for 3 months, this helped with no relapse.

Unfortunately, 2.5 yrs later the same formula doesn't work. There is another protocol where you start with Vit E 400iu and titration to 1600iu under doctor supervision. I haven't tried that yet. I myself am now searching to reduce Tardive Dyskinesia again, to no avail.

Replied by Art
(California)
06/29/2021
1390 posts

Joseph,

Melatonin is definitely worth considering and discussing with his doctor. In addition, the use of a high-quality fish oil could be additive as can caloric restriction, if feasible, could also be considered.

If the melatonin causes daytime tiredness, using melatonin suppositories can be discussed with his doctor and these are available online. Probiotics that contain clostridium butyricum or other butyrate-producing bacteria could be considered alongside a broad spectrum synbiotic. These five things are worth discussing with his doctor.

Art

Joseph
(Stockton, CA)
10/12/2021
75 posts

Art,

I have been using 10mg of melatonin at night for past 2 months, his TD occurs upon waking up for first approximately 2 hrs., then gets significantly better. What dosage of melatonin work in your reports!

Art
(California)
10/12/2021
1390 posts

Joseph,

I don't know what he is like now, compared to pre-melatonin, so if you could clarify that point, it will be helpful for me to better understand his current situation.

If the melatonin is helping, two adjustments you can try are having him take the melatonin an hour to two hours earlier in the evening now that the sun is setting significantly earlier and have him go outside in the bright morning sun for 15 to 20 minutes each morning. The purpose for this is to try to realign his circadian rhythms which with TD are likely out of sync. This should be a longer term help for him and takes time to have an effect in conjunction with the evening melatonin to realign multiple circadian rhythms in his body.

As far as dosage, I can't say because I am not a doctor, but I can tell you what I have taken for over a year now, 106 mg+/night, but everyone seems to react differently to various dosing of melatonin so that means a trial and error approach to find out what will be his optimal and tolerable dose. The good news is that melatonin has a very good safety profile and if he is tolerating it up to now, chances are you may be able to go as high as needed for him to reach his optimal dose, but I highly advise you do this with his doctor overseeing it. One possibility, if you are giving him melatonin capsules is to try a form I am finding to be slightly more bioavailable compared to capsules and here is a link to the product I have been testing on myself and some friends to good effect which I would try before increasing his dose significantly :

https://www.amazon.com/Carlyle-Melatonin-Dissolve-Nighttime-Vegetarian/dp/B08451719W/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1AKRGA1PL20JL&dchild=1&keywords=carlyle+melatonin+12+mg+fast+dissolve+180+tablets&qid=1634084496&sr=8-1

Given your son's situation, slow and modest dosing changes seem prudent to see how he responds. More is not always better!

In trying to affect an existing health condition, Dr. Neel is using 1 mg per kilogram of body weight against Covid-19 as you are aware and I believe he is being quite modest in his dosing schedule compared to what they are doing in Manila. The highest dose I have ever heard of being given to a person with no ill effects other than tiredness is 4,000 mg in one dose. Here is a link to that study :

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21480979/

More recently, look at this RCT (2021) where they used melatonin at 250 mg/day for 8 weeks to very good effect in people with T2DM :

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC7995760/

You have probably already read these recent studies (August 2021), but in case you haven't, you might find it informative and could give you a better understanding of why melatonin may be of value for your son.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC8394692/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC8405969/

The second study gives you a clue about the pineal gland and its relation to schizophrenia and to take that a step further may hint that trying to simulate melatonin secretion by the pineal gland through divided doses may be one option to consider and discuss with his doctor. I do something along this line that I find a bit more helpful for sleep and I have written about it here on EC. I call it melatonin 123 and may be worth discussing at some point.

A couple of very important points regarding melatonin as it may pertain to your son are that it is the most potent antioxidant in the body through direct and indirect means and it has potent anti-inflammatory effects as well as neuroprotective effects. In your research, you are already well aware of the importance of these three attributes for your son!

There are studies to support these supplements for TD and that fact may be helpful when discussing them with his doctor.

Good luck to both of you, Joseph and please keep us updated.

Art

Joseph A.
(Stockton, CA)
11/26/2021
75 posts

Art, finally I am able to respond, albeit I will not be well organized as usual, didn't sleep much and had to do other things so I will try to respond to your questions regarding my son's TD and melatonin. Each morning upon awakening I give my son 20mg of Valiums (Benzo's) because he is addicted (dependency) to them for 6 yrs (no fault of his just VA Dr) they have helped his severe Anxiety. 2 weeks ago I started tapering him off this poison, it can be painful, seizures are common, therefore my attempt will be very slowly, perhaps a 2mg reduction each month. Sedatives interact with Melatonin albeit he is only taking 10mg melatonin prior to bed. He isn't tired or drowsy in the morning, he is basically the same as pre-melatonin. Melatonin is known to interact with: blood thinners, Aspirin, Tylenol, antibiotics, give heart palpitations, etc.,

Dr Neel prescribes 100mg daily for all adults and children 17+.

20mg 3X daily and 40mg at bedtime, he doesn't follow the kilograms (1mg) body wt. Apparantly it is effective in Philippines. In addition he prescribes: vitamin A, B, C, D & E, dosage?

I will check with his new Doctor regarding Melatonin.

I took it for sleep a few days and had major palpitations, BP increased 90 points, because I take medication(s) that interacted.

I believe you may be more knowledgeable than I am with Schizophrenia, Tardive Dyskinesia, feel free to contact me I do have lots of alternative things that may assist you. I don't know if you have Anxiety or not, I have several things that may help. TD appears to be your primary concern. I have several different formulas, but you probably have them also thru Googling, if not ask me. I requested that Deirdre give you my email address so we can message each other without all this typing. She is the founder here at EC, very sharp, Pleasant, knowledgeable, perhaps she may, we will see. You are most likely familiar with the Great Dr Abrams Hoffer, founder of Orthomolecular medicine, his best friend is another Dr that he worked with prior to Dr Hoffers passing. Dr Michael Lesser, 510 845-0700, Berkeley Hills, Ca., he still sees patients at his residence, I saw him in 2009, he treated my son and I learn a lot. His number I give you in case you had questions, he does charge.

I stopped all medications after 3 months when my son was diagnosed with chronic paranoid schizophrenia in 2007, I saw how Antipsychotic meds kill, destroy people, many commit suicide, I found Serpina (Indian Snakeroot) I initially gave Orthomolecular supplements, TCM, etc., then I started giving him 2 tablets of Serpina 3X daily, at times I would adjust to 3 pills AM & 3 pills PM. He excelled for almost 8 yrs until he was diagnosed with OCD. I treated him at home for over 1 year to no avail, finally, I had to bring him to the Hospital, immediately they gave him Prozac & Deadly Antipsychotics again and since they interacted I had to stop all the Serpina tablets. Serpina tablets are 4mg pills, developed in India as the world's first hypertension medicine, yrs later they were found to help many things such as: high blood pressure, mental illness, Anxiety, calmness, etc., they are not habit forming, they do interact with Antipsychotics and cold, flu medicines. Very inexpensive, Amazon sells 100 tablets for $8 or you can Google and purchase where you like.

I will send this off and then continue with a study of TD and Orthomolecular meds and Manganese, I don't know if you are familiar with it. To be continued. Joseph

Art
(California)
11/26/2021
1390 posts

Hi Joseph,

I guess we have a misunderstanding going in this thread. I don't have Schizophrenia or Tardive Dyskinesia, your son does and I was merely making a few suggestions to your on going thread on those two subjects. So no need for further communication on this subject and thank you for your response!

Art

Replied by Steven
(Hazleton, OA)
11/17/2021

Joseph,

Have you done a blood test for vitamin B6 levels? Vitamin B6 toxicity displays the same symptoms as a deficiency does.

Replied by Dean
(USA)
11/25/2021

Joseph,

I have been struggling with TD since 2014 and tried many natural remedies. None have been helpful. Even the $10k a month Ingrezza did not work. You mentioned a protocol of Week 1: Take 1,000mg of BCAA (branch chain amino acid) 3X daily. Take B6 100mg once daily. Week 2: Take 2,000mg BCAA 3Xdaily. Take B6 100mg 3X Daily.

Would this be worthwhile for me to try? I did try the BCAA and B6 but not in the quantities you mention. Yi Gan San has been said to provide some improvements. I did do this and it helped somewhat but wanted more relief than it provided. I saw you also mention Maganese and I can find Magnesium but not Maganese. I know a person who had Deep Brain Stimulation and got a 90% recovery but am really afraid to do that.

Joseph A.
(Stockton, Ca)
11/25/2021
75 posts

Dean,

As you know one size shoe does not fit all, therefore with medications, supplements we must experiment, therefore I would strongly advise you to take the required dosage of BCAA and B6 for fighting Tardive Dyskinesia. You stated you tried both but in a lower dosage.

As I recall, it took my son about 4 weeks until the TD stop, however, I did not know about the relapse and had to continue again for another 90 days (it could have been 30, 40 more days) it would be nice to add 1 B-Complex 100mg. You can add the Manganese up to 60mg daily 20mg 3X daily, but work up to it weekly.

You took the Yi Gan San, was it taken at 7mg daily? That's what is required.

And last of all, you can take Dr. David R. Hawkins:

3 Grams B3 Niacin or Niacinamide ( Niacinamide does not help lower cholesterol levels)

Take the same dosage of Vit C - 3 Grams

Vit E 600iu = 200iu 3X daily

B6 600mg = 200mg 3Xdaily

I learn a lot from a Dr Michael Lesser, he was a friend of the Great Dr. Abrams Hoffer. They worked together. Dr Lesser still sees patients at his home in Berkley , Ca. 181 Vicente road, 94705. Tel: 510 845-0700. Dr. Hoffer was the first to come out with Orthomolecular medicines.

Joseph A.
(Stockton, Ca)
11/26/2021
75 posts

Dean,

I feel that you should definitely try my Dosages for Tardive Dyskinesia as listed. My son has Schizophrenia since 2007, I tapered him off ALL medications for treatment of schizophrenia, once tapered off I gave him Serpina (Indian Snakeroot) the dosage was: 2 pills 3X daily totaling 6 pills, each pill (tablet) was 4mg each. They worked “Excellent for almost 8 yrs” he was independent, I got compliments from many Drs., then in 2015 he contracted OCD, I kept him home and gave many different formulas that did not help his OCD, after 1.5 yrs I had to bring him to the Dr, they immediately gave him Prozac and Antipsychotics which I hated, they interacted with Serpina, I had to stop all Serpina. It was a few months later that he contracted Tardive Dyskinesia, his Dr wasn't familiar with what to do, she (VA hospital) wanted him to take Vit E. I placed him on the BCAA and B6, same dosages that are listed, after a short time his TD stop, I also stop the Formula, the TD started to return, I gave him same formula, he improved, once he improved I continued same dosage for 90 days, then I stop . He continued to do well. At some point later his TD returned I gave him original formula of BCAA & B6, this time it didn't work.

Antipsychotic Risperdal does cause TD. I gave him Melatonin 10mg tablets at night, they appeared to slow the TD down to a few hours in the morning when waking up, then they subsided unless he was stressed, anxiety then his TD became more prominent until I was able to reduce his Severe Anxiety. There was a study performed by Dr David R. Hawkins (Google: Tardive Dyskinesia with David R. Hawkins MD, scroll down to Orthomolecular.org & tap on. Scroll down to: The prevention of Tardive dyskinesia with high dosages of vitamins. 80 Physicians over a 10 yr period with 58,000 patients treated with Antipsychotic drugs plus high dosage of vitamins reveal that less than 0.05% developed TD you will view his treatment starting with: 3G B3 Niacin (or Niacinamide, taking Niacinamide does not give a flush, nor does it help Cholesterol numbers reduce, plus more expensive) 3G Vit C ( no timed-release or prolonged Vit C) 600mg B6 (200 mg 3X day) Vit E 600iu.

Myself I added B-complex 100mg daily, Vit D3 3,000-5000 (depending whether low or not in Vit D. Risperdone is known to cause TD. My formula also added Manganese that is also what Drs gave (studies revealed) Give 15-60mg daily in a divided dosage: start 5mg 3X daily then increased (1 week later) to 10mg, then increased to 15mg total 1 week later. Google where can I buy Manganese supplements, enter your zip code, they are available many places. Manganese taken with Antipsychotic medication initially together may very well prevent TD, however once TD develops then you take Manganese the dosage is a little higher, I believe 20mg 3X daily = 60. There are other formulas you can take by Googling: what Supplements/Alternative medicines reduce Tardive Dyskinesia, several will appear. Ginkgo Biloba, high doses can be effective, Always Google for “Interactions” with medications your taking and supplements. Manganese is safe to take with Antipsychotics, & Prozac, SSRI's.

My notes list these for possibly reducing TD: Gingko Biloba, Vmatz, Evening primrose, Vit E start 400iu then increase slowly to 1600iu daily ( I would consult with a Dr with that one) lecithin & choline (lecithin 25 Grams 2X daily) US 7498361 B2……..treats “All” movement disorders. Clozapine, shown to suppress TD. Benadryl may treat TD, however it is not for long term use, can effect memory. Dr Peter Breggin- The incidence of TD among people who take Antipsychotics are high, especially in higher dosage & longer duration. Don't believe the BS that states: the benefit out weighs the Risk. I hope I gave you information that will help. Nutrition has lots to do with Schizophrenia, you can Google what foods help and what foods don't. Stay away from Sugar, sugary drinks, anything white: pizza, rice, (brown is great), all white flour, bread, pasteries, pasta, etc., once you eat these they turn into sugar, then you suffer. Alllllllllll, that's All juices, including OJ is loaded with sugar. If you have questions send them, I will respond.

Currently I am tapering my son off of Benzodiazepines (Valiums) because the ignorant VA. Dr prescribed for 6 yrs, they are for short term only 4-5 weeks.

Joseph

Anne
(Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada)
07/03/2022

Hi Dean.

I have had tardive dyskinesia for two years. I am currently on quercetin, NAC, and acetylcarnitine these are antioxidants that are supposed to help but it's been a month and no change. I feel desperate for help and suggestions.

Art
(California)
07/03/2022
1390 posts

Anne,

You didn't say what caused your TD?

It might be worth looking into melatonin for TD which is the most potent antioxidant in the human body through direct and indirect mechanisms of action and much much more.

Art


Melatonin, Vitamin C, Electrolytes

1 User Review
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Posted by Nick (CT) on 02/20/2022
5 out of 5 stars

I've had tardive dystonia/dyskinesia for more than 20 years. I have tried a lot of different things. right now I'm having luck with melatonin Vitamin C, electrolytes. I take 10-20mg melatonin as needed, 4 grams vitamin C as needed and powdered electrolytes in water (from amazon) every other day. Right now this is helping. The naturopath I was seeing said I could take up to 30 mg melatonin per day. I guess everyone's needs may be different but if you have TD maybe these three substances might help. I take the melatonin that is fast dissolve (chewable form) I also alternate one day I take the melatonin when I feel symptoms and the next day I take the Vitamin C.

This sort of has been trial and error for the past 20 years. I was also trying BCAA's they seemed to help at first but then my symptoms got worse but for me maybe BCAA's may be good once in a while. I tried manganese didn't help though it might help someone else. Everyone's brain imbalance may be different it might be a matter of getting the right frequency of meds and dosages. I guess you have to experiment though these substances have proven to be very safe over the years. No matter what anyone says don't give up hope. I know the words progressive and irreversible are used a lot but that type of thinking does not help.

Replied by Art
(California)
02/20/2022
1390 posts

Nick,

The melatonin is also useful for Schizophrenia (S), which the treatment drugs for S, such as Haloperidol, are known to cause TD. Studies to support both uses for melatonin. Its highly potent radical scavenging effects, antioxidant activities both directly and indirectly as well as its anti inflammatory effects are thought to play major roles in its beneficial effects in TD and S.

I use 120 mg per night and I previously went a year straight at 106+ mg per night for the myriad of health benefits that melatonin has shown in hundreds of studies. I have written about many of these benefits on EC.

Art