Cholinergic medications

What are cholinergic medications?

Cholinergic medications have been prescribed for tardive dyskinesia, which is a common side effect of antipsychotics, involving repetitive, involuntary movements most commonly occurring around the mouth and face. The cause of tardive dyskinesia is largely unknown, however some theories proposing the cause implicates brain cells that utilise the acetylcholine neurotransmitter. Older cholinergic medications (such as those included in this summary) can have adverse effects themselves, while newer compounds have less severe side effects, but they have not yet been studied in relation to tardive dyskinesia.

What is the evidence on cholinergic medications?

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests no significant benefits of cholinergic medications for negative symptoms or cognition.

Moderate to low quality evidence also finds no benefit for tardive dyskinesia.

October 2019

Last updated at: 2:18 am, 30th October 2019
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Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.