Enkephalin, morphine, and naloxone in tardive dyskinesia

Niels Bjørndal, Daniel E. Casey, Jes Gerlach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Eight psychiatric patients with tardive dyskinesia (TD) were treated with single doses of the synthetic met-enkephalin analogue FK 33-824 (1, 2, and 3 mg IM) morphine (10 mg SC) and naloxone, an opiate receptor antagonist (0.8 mg IM). The drug effects were assessed by blind evaluation of randomly sequenced videotapes made before and during treatment. FK 33-824 (1,2, and 3 mg IM) slightly reduced TD (P<0.05) and increased preexisting bradykinesia. The effect on TD, however, was pronounced only in patients concurrently treated with neuroleptics in relatively high doses. Morphine had a similar although weaker antihyperkinetic effect, whereas naloxone had no effect. Side effects of FK 33-824 included dizziness, heaviness in the extremities, slurred speech, and dryness of mouth. Morphine caused drowsiness, dizziness, ataxia, and nausea, and naloxone had no side effects. The results do not point to a primary role of enkephalin in the pathophysiology of TD, but enkephalin may interact with dopamine functions and potentiate some of the effects of neuroleptic drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-136
Number of pages4
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 1980


  • Enkephalin
  • Morphine
  • Naloxone
  • Parkinsonism
  • Tardive dyskinesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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