Nicotine Patches May Help Tourette’s

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Nicotine patches may help children control the motor tics associated with Tourette’s syndrome, enabling them to reduce their use of powerful tranquilizers that can dull the ability to think.

A team from the University of South Florida College of Medicine studied 70 patients with Tourette’s. All received the tranquilizer Haldol; half received a 7-milligram nicotine patch like those sold over the counter and half a placebo patch.

The team reported in the September Journal of Clinical Psychiatry that the frequency and severity of tics were significantly reduced in children receiving the nicotine patch, even when their Haldol dosage was reduced by half. No evidence of nicotine dependence developed in the children, but some suffered nausea and dizziness.



Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II