The treatment of Tourette's focuses on identifying and helping the individual manage the most troubling or impairing symptoms. Most cases of Tourette's are mild, and do not require pharmacological treatment;instead, psychobehavioral therapy, education, and reassurance may be sufficient. Treatments, where warranted, can be divided into those that target tics and comorbid conditions, which, when present, are often a larger source of impairment than the tics themselves. Not all people with tics have comorbid conditions, but when those conditions are present, they often take treatment priority.
There is no cure for Tourette's and no medication that works universally for all individuals without significant adverse effects. Knowledge, education and understanding are uppermost in management plans for tic disorders. The management of the symptoms of Tourette's may include pharmacological, behavioral and psychological therapies. While pharmacological intervention is reserved for more severe symptoms, other treatments (such as supportive psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy) may help to avoid or ameliorate depression and social isolation, and to improve family support. Educating a patient, family, and surrounding community (such as friends, school, and church) is a key treatment strategy, and may be all that is required in mild cases.
Model of a haloperidol molecule. Haloperidol is an antipsychotic medication sometimes used to treat severe cases of Tourette's.
Medication is available to help when symptoms interfere with functioning. The classes of medication with the most proven efficacy in treating tics—typical and atypical neuroleptics including risperidone (trade nameRisperdal), ziprasidone (Geodon), haloperidol (Haldol), pimozide (Orap) and fluphenazine (Prolixin)—can have long-term and short-term adverse effects. The antihypertensive agents clonidine (trade name Catapres) and guanfacine (Tenex) are also used to treat tics; studies show variable efficacy, but a lower side effect profile than the neuroleptics. Stimulants and other medications may be useful in treating ADHD when it co-occurs with tic disorders. Drugs from several other classes of medications can be used when stimulant trials fail, including guanfacine (trade name Tenex), atomoxetine (Strattera) and tricyclics. Clomipramine (Anafranil), a tricyclic antidepressant, and SSRIs—a class of antidepressants including fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and fluvoxamine (Luvox)—may be prescribed when a Tourette's patient also has symptoms of obsessive–compulsive disorder. Several other medications have been tried, including nicotine patches, but evidence to support their use is unconvincing.
Because children with tics often present to physicians when their tics are most severe, and because of the waxing and waning nature of tics, it is recommended that medication not be started immediately or changed often.Frequently, the tics subside with explanation, reassurance, understanding of the condition and a supportive environment. When medication is used, the goal is not to eliminate symptoms: it should be used at the lowest possible dose that manages symptoms without adverse effects, given that these may be more disturbing than the symptoms for which they were prescribed.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a useful treatment when OCD is present, and there is increasing evidence supporting the use of habit reversal in the treatment of tics.Relaxation techniques, such as exercise, yoga or meditation, may be useful in relieving the stress that may aggravate tics, but the majority of behavioral interventions (such as relaxation training and biofeedback, with the exception of habit reversal) have not been systematically evaluated and are not empirically supported therapies for Tourette's.
I hope I have been of help. Take care.-
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