Tardive dyskinesia is a chronic and disabling abnormal movement disorder affecting the muscles of the face, neck, tongue and the limbs. It is a common side effect of long-term antipsychotic medication use in individuals with schizophrenia and other related psychotic disorders. While there are no known effective treatments for tardive dyskinesia to date, some reports suggest that pyridoxal 5 phosphate may be effective in reducing the severity of tardive dyskinesia symptoms.
To determine the effectiveness of pyridoxal 5 phosphate (vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine or Pyridoxal phosphate) in the treatment of neuroleptic-induced tardive dyskinesia among people with schizophrenia and other related psychotic disorders.
The Cochrane schizophrenia group's register of clinical trials was searched (January 2013) using the phrase: [*Pyridoxal* OR *Pyridoxine* OR *P5P* OR *PLP* OR *tardoxal* OR *Vitamin B6* O *Vitamin B 6* R in title, abstract or index terms of REFERENCE, or interventions of STUDY. References of relevant identified studies were handsearched and where necessary, the first authors of relevant studies were contacted.
Studies described as randomised controlled trials comparing the effectiveness pyridoxal 5 phosphate with placebo in the treatment of neuroleptic-induced tardive dyskinesia among patients with schizophrenia.
The review authors independently extracted data from each selected study. For dichotomous data, we calculated risk ratios (RR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) on an intention-to-treat basis based on a fixed-effect model. For continuous data, we calculated mean differences (MD) with 95% CIs, again based on a fixed-effect model. We assessed risk of bias for each included study and used GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) approach to rate quality of evidence.
Of the 12 records retrieved by the search, three trials published in 2001, 2003 and 2007, involving 80 inpatients with schizophrenia, aged 18 to 71 years, admitted in a psychiatric facility and followed up for a period nine weeks to 26 weeks, were included. Overall, pyridoxal 5 phosphate produced a significant improvement in tardive dyskinesia symptoms when compared with placebo, assessed by a change in Extrapyramidal Symptoms Rating Scale (ESRS) scores from baseline to the end of the first phase of the included studies (2 RCTs n = 65, RR 19.97, CI 2.87 to 139.19, low quality evidence). The endpoint tardive dyskinesia score (a measure of its severity) assessed with the ESRS, was significantly lower among participants on pyridoxal 5 phosphate compared to those on placebo (2 RCTs n = 60, MD -4.07, CI -6.36 to -1.79, low quality evidence).It was unclear whether pyridoxal 5 phosphate led to more side effects (n = 65, 2 RCTs, RR 3.97, CI 0.20 to 78.59, low quality evidence) or caused deterioration in tardive dyskinesia symptoms when compared to placebo (n = 65, 2 RCTs, RR 0.16, CI 0.01 to 3.14, low quality evidence). Five participants taking pyridoxal 5 phosphate withdrew from the study because they were not willing to take more medications while none of the participants taking placebo discontinued their medications (n = 65, 2 RCTs, RR 8.72, CI 0.51 to 149.75, low quality evidence).There was no significant difference in the endpoint positive and negative psychiatric symptoms scores, measured using the Positive and Negative symptoms Scale (PANSS) between participants taking pyridoxal 5 phosphate and those taking placebo. For the positive symptoms: (n = 15, 1 RCT, MD -1.50, CI -4.80 to 1.80, low quality evidence). For negative the symptoms: (n = 15, 1 RCT, MD -1.10, CI -5.92 to 3.72, low quality evidence).
Pyridoxal 5 phosphate may have some benefits in reducing the severity of tardive dyskinesia symptoms among individuals with schizophrenia. However, the quality of evidence supporting the effectiveness of pyridoxal 5 phosphate in treating tardive dyskinesia is low, based on few studies, short follow-up periods, small sample sizes and inadequate adherence to standardised reporting guidelines for randomised controlled trials among the included studies.