The Importance of Early Recognition of Extrapyramidal Symptoms (EPS) in a Community Mental Health Clinic
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The EPS group patients have higher frequency of atypical antipsychotics polytherapy and typical and atypical antipsychotics polytherapy or combined treatments with mood stabilisers.
Delayed symptoms can happen after you’ve been taking the drug for some time. With akathisia, you may feel very restless or tense and have a constant desire to move. In children, this might show up as physical discomfort, agitation, anxiety, or general irritability. You might find that pacing, shaking your legs, rocking on your feet, or rubbing your face helps ease the restlessness. Research suggests risk of akathisia increases with higher doses of medication. Akathisia symptoms have also been associated with a higher risk of another condition called tardive dyskinesia. Anywhere from 5 to 36 percentTrusted Source of people taking antipsychotics may develop akathisia. Some medications, including beta-blockers, may help relieve symptoms. Lowering the dose of antipsychotic medication may also lead to improvement. Dystonic reactions are involuntary muscle contractions. These movements are often repetitive and might include eye spasms or blinking, twisting head, protruding tongue, and extended neck, among others. Movements might be very brief, but they could also affect your posture or stiffen your muscles for a period of time. They most often affect your head and neck, though they can occur in other parts of your body. Dystonia can cause painful muscle stiffness and other discomfort. You can also choke or have trouble breathing if the reaction affects muscles in your throat.
The co-occurrence of dystonia or other EPS with behavioral disturbances narrows the differential to disorders associated with both features, e.g., Huntington’s and Wilson’s disease, neuroacanthocytosis, etc. Although most often associated with the initiation of antipsychotics, dystonia may also be seen if dosages are increased, a second antipsychotic is added, for the few days each time after long-acting injectable antipsychotics are administered, if another drug, e.g., paroxetine, is added that inhibits antipsychotic metabolism, or following the discontinuation of antiparkinsonian agents (Gelenberg AJ. 1987). Dystonia also occurs in a tardive form, which may respond to anticholinergic treatment, but first appears or worsens rather than resolves when antipsychotic drugs are discontinued. The relationship between the acute and tardive forms is unknown. Apart from antipsychotic drugs, dopamine antagonists used as anti-emetics or sedatives (prochlorperazine, metoclopramide), anticonvulsants, antimalarials, stimulants and serotonergic agents have been implicated. Dystonias are encountered with levodopa during the course of treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Toxins (manganese, carbon monoxide, carbon disulfide) have also been implicated.
A variety of movement phenotypes has since been described along the EPS spectrum, including dystonia, akathisia, and parkinsonism, which occur more acutely, as well as more chronic manifestations of tardive akathisia and tardive dyskinesia. The symptoms of EPS are debilitating, interfering with social functioning and communication, motor tasks, and activities of daily living. This is often associated with poor quality of life and abandonment of therapy, which may result in disease relapse and re-hospitalization, particularly in schizophrenic patients stopping pharmacologic therapy.
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