Nervous system disorders

Tourette syndrome

About Tourette syndrome

If you have Tourette syndrome, you make unusual movements or sounds, called tics. You have little or no control over them. Common tics are throat-clearing and blinking. You may repeat words, spin, or, rarely, blurt out swear words.

Tourette syndrome is a disorder of the nervous system. It often occurs with other problems, such as

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

The cause of Tourette syndrome is unknown. It is more common in boys than girls. The tics usually start in childhood and may be worst in the early teens. Many people eventually outgrow them.

No treatment is needed unless the tics interfere with everyday life. Excitement or worry can make tics worse. Calm, focused activities may make them better. Medicines and talk therapy may also help.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Top Medications for Tourette syndrome according to our users

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All Medications for Tourette syndrome

  • Haldol
    Prescription only

    Haldol (Haloperidol) is okay for treating psychosis and agitation. It's less likely to cause weight gain than other antipsychotics, but it's more likely to cause other bad side effects.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Liquid
    • Injection
  • Risperdal
    Prescription only

    Risperdal (Risperidone) is good for treating psychosis, mania, and irritability. Among newer antipsychotic medicines, more likely to cause side effects, especially weight gain and hormone problems.

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    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Dissolving tablet
    • Liquid
    • Injection
  • Tenex
    Prescription only

    Tenex (Guanfacine) can be used to treat both blood pressure and ADHD, but it's not recommended as a first-line treatment for either problem.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release

Tips, success stories, and coping strategies for Tourette syndrome

What tip would you give someone like me who was just diagnosed?
  • Symptoms might get better or worse as your get older, but you'll learn how to deal with them well. With time, a lot of people with Tourette's can figure out how to lead normal, happy lives.
What’s your best coping strategy?
  • I've tried many medications, and they all wax and wane in their effectiveness. Lately, I've been trying out cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to control my symptoms, and have been impressed with how well it seems to be working for me.
Besides medications, what else has worked for you?
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)