Tourette syndrome: Clinical characteristics and current management strategies

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30 Scopus citations


Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a disorder comprised of involuntary motor and phonic tics often associated with psychiatric conditions. The etiology for TS is unclear, with both genetic and immunological theories being studied to date. When pharmacotherapy is considered by the patient and physician to be required, owing to either functional impairment from tics or comorbid psychiatric illness, dopamine receptor antagonists are commonly used. Our first-line agents for tic suppression include clonidine, guanfacine, clonazepam and baclofen. Should these agents be ineffective, we would recommend pimozide, fluphenazine, risperidone or haloperidol. The potential benefit of other agents, such as olanzapine, ziprasidone, pergolide and botulinum toxin, is encouraging. Despite many years of concern, we have found little exacerbation of tics with stimulant medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but clearly clonidine and guanfacine can ameliorate both comorbid conditions. Obsessive compulsive disorder, when associated with TS, may be treated with either a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor in association with a dopamine receptor antagonist or risperidone alone. New therapies for all aspects of TS and its comorbid conditions are in active clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-363
Number of pages9
JournalPaediatric Drugs
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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