Treatment practices in Tourette syndrome: the European perspective

Hugh Rickards, Andrea E Cavanna, Rhiannon Worrall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


AIMS: National differences in licensing laws suggest that the use of medications for the treatment of Tourette syndrome differs between European countries. However, variability in prescribing practices has never been investigated. This study aims to systematically examine European prescribing practices in Tourette syndrome.

METHODS: All members of the European Society for the Study of Tourette syndrome actively prescribing for paediatric and/or adult Tourette syndrome populations were invited to complete an online questionnaire covering pharmacological treatment of the five main symptom domains of Tourette syndrome: tics, attention-deficit hyperactivity symptoms, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, anxiety and depression.

RESULTS: Response rates were good, with 44/57 (77%) members returning the questionnaire. Risperidone (n=13), methylphenidate (n=21) and sertraline (n=17) were the most commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of tics, attention-deficit hyperactivity symptoms and obsessive-compulsive symptoms, respectively. However, there was a large variability in both the medication choices and the dosages used for each of these symptom domains.

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first large-scale survey on prescribing habits for the pharmacological management of Tourette syndrome in Europe. In general, dopamine blockers were widely used for tics, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for depression, obsessive-compulsive symptoms and anxiety, and stimulants for attention-deficit hyperactivity symptoms, but there was high variation within these choices. Future studies need to target specific patient groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-4
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Paediatric Neurology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents/therapeutic use
  • Antipsychotic Agents/administration & dosage
  • Anxiety/complications
  • Aripiprazole
  • Atomoxetine Hydrochloride
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity/complications
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants/therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Clonidine/therapeutic use
  • Depression/complications
  • Europe
  • Fluoxetine/therapeutic use
  • Fluvoxamine/therapeutic use
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Methylphenidate/therapeutic use
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder/complications
  • Physicians
  • Piperazines/therapeutic use
  • Propylamines/therapeutic use
  • Psychiatry
  • Quinolones/therapeutic use
  • Risperidone/therapeutic use
  • Sertraline/therapeutic use
  • Sulpiride/therapeutic use
  • Tourette Syndrome/complications


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