Bipolar Jacket


Akathisia is a movement disorder that is characterized by a feeling of restlessness or an inner sense of agitation that makes it difficult to sit still or remain calm. People with akathisia may feel the need to constantly move, shift their position, or pace back and forth. It can be a side effect of certain medications, including antipsychotic drugs used to treat bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions. Akathisia can be distressing and uncomfortable for the affected individual and can interfere with daily activities and quality of life. If a person experiences akathisia, it is important to talk to their healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and the appropriate course of action.

What is the treatment?

The treatment of akathisia depends on the severity of the symptoms and the underlying cause. The first step in treating akathisia is often to adjust or switch the medication that is causing the side effect, particularly if the medication is an antipsychotic drug. If the medication cannot be changed or if the symptoms persist after a dosage adjustment, there are several other treatment options that may be considered:

  • Beta-blockers, such as propranolol, can be used to reduce the physical symptoms of akathisia, such as tremors and muscle stiffness.
  • Benzodiazepines, such as clonazepam, can be used to reduce anxiety and agitation associated with akathisia.
  • Anticholinergic medications, such as benztropine, can be used to treat the muscle rigidity and tremors associated with akathisia.
  • Switching to a different type of medication that is less likely to cause akathisia.

It is important to talk to a healthcare provider before making any changes to medication or treatment. They can determine the appropriate course of action based on the individual’s symptoms, medical history, and other factors.

The Akathisia Alliance

For more about akathisia or support, please see the akathisia alliance.