Natural Treatment for Tardive Dyskinesia (TD)

| Modified on Oct 12, 2021
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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!


Manganese, BCAA, B6

1 User Review
5 star (1) 
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Posted by Joseph (Stockton, CA) on 06/26/2021 62 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
953 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
62 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
953 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!

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

Art

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

Joseph,

In my reply, I forgot to mention that there are studies to support these supplements for TD and that fact may be helpful when discussing them with his doctor.

Art