Is there medication for tourettes?

If you’re like most people, you probably have heard about Tourette’s syndrome in a movie or TV show where someone uncontrollably shouts out obscenities. While it is true that some people with Tourettes do experience this type of tic, this neurological disorder varies significantly from person to person and can include many other symptoms. The primary symptom is usually tics, which are sudden movements and sounds that an individual can’t control.

Tourette’s syndrome can be challenging to treat since there is no cure for the condition; however, medication may help relieve some of its symptoms. Let’s dive into more details below:


Tourette’s syndrome isn’t well understood yet; however, researchers believe several factors increase its risk. These potential risk factors include:

  • Genetics
  • Brain structure
  • Abnormal neurotransmitter development (brain chemicals)
  • Environmental toxins

Note: Each factor doesn’t mean a diagnosis automatically occurs; instead, all these components together seem to increase the chance of developing this disorder.

Additionally, while genetics does play a significant role in who develops Tourette’s Syndrome, it isn’t entirely clear how exactly they contribute.

Understanding Tics

Understanding tics helps better comprehend why medication might benefit individuals with Tourettes as they deal with these involuntary movements/sounds every day.

Types Of Tics

There are two different types of tics: motor & vocal, and both could occur separately or simultaneously.

Motor Tic:
It refers to any sudden bodily movement an individual makes due to tension release caused by extreme discomfort/desire produced by certain bodily sensations or thoughts/obsessions.
– Eye blinking
– Facial grimacing
– Head jerking
– Shoulder shrugging
-Vocal Tic:
The vocal tic relates to any sudden sound coming out except normal speech production mechanism but similarly caused(tension release, etc.)
– Throat clear
– Coughs
– Coprolalia (involving the making of inappropriate sounds or using impolite language).

As stated above, medication cannot cure Tourette’s syndrome. If an individual with this condition experiences mild tics that do not interfere significantly with day-to-day activities/quality of life, medications might not be required.

Medications for Tourettes

There are several types of prescribed medication on the market and being studied actively to help relieve symptoms associated with Tourettes; below are some examples:


Antipsychotic medications generally used to treat schizophrenia delusion/hallucinations might benefit individuals dealing with more severe cases of tics.

These medicines work by blocking receptors in the brain’s dopamine pathways which could reduce intensity and frequency related to tic behavior.

Note: Most people take lower dosages than those given when treating disorders like Schizophrenia because too much blocking may cause additional movement/expression issues detrimental to quality living daily.

– Risperidone(Risperdal)
– Haloperidol(Haldol)

Clonidine & Guanfacine

Clonidine and Guanfacine have a sedative effect on individual utilization.
They also act like neurotransmitters inside one’s nervous system responsible for reducing activity in adrenaline-producing neurons connected alongside autonomic nerve fibers—improving hyperarousal regulation.

This medicine aims to decrease overall anxiety level present while causing motor/speech outbursts. They can even improve attention span among younger populations who deal with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder ((ADHD)) alongsidetourette’s simultaneously.
– Catapres
– Intuniv

Botulinum Toxin Injections

Botulinum toxin injection is useful for specific area treatments involving singular muscle control; Botox could be injected directly into specific muscle areas responsible for one’s tics.

This clinically observed medicine could help reduce volume, force, and frequency regarding individual movements significantly by effectively calming the originating nerve tissue before it gets to contract.

Note: This treatment tends to require regular injections as effects might fade after a few months.
– Botox
– Dysport

Side Effects of Medications

Like with any medicine or drug, there are potential trade-offs between effectiveness and side effect:


A possible risk involving an antipsychotic medication utilization includes causing excessive weight gain& drowsiness. These too much could negatively affect someone’s overall mental & physical health.

Additionally, this type of prescribed medication often given at doses less than individuals with Schizophrenia levels because their blocking causes additional movement/expression issues that make daily living worse instead of better.

### Clonidine & Guanfacine/ Botulinum Toxin Injections

The most common adverse events(related to sedation/sleepiness) noted in these two medicines category; however seem milder when comparing those related to antipsychotics listed earlier. The use of botulinum toxin injection towards Tourettes Syndrome also poses a slightly higher infection risk compared nexto no other medication category mentioned above.

Wrap Up

It would help if you remembered that only medical professionals should recommend prescribing drugs for treating neurological disorders such as Tourette’s syndrome adequately. A combination therapy involving psychotherapeutic interventions alongside prescription said can have positive benefits in reducing symptoms while improving overall quality of life especially among young patients dealing simultaneously kwith tics and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder ((ADHD)). After understanding helpful information regarding Tourette’s Syndrome management offerings above: clients/caregivers/physicians alike may work together through multiple options available today towards identifying optimal personalized treatment alternatives.

Ultimately every person diagnosed with TOurrette’s syndrome presents differently as to the variations in symptom expression; Thus, it becomes key to speak with your care professional about personalized medication options aligned with your individual requirements for a better quality of life.

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