What is the role of cannabinoids and nicotine in the treatment of Tourette syndrome (TS) and other tic disorders?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: William C Robertson, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen L Nelson, Jr, MD, PhD, FAACPDM, FAAN, FAAP  more...
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Answer

Cannabinoids may reduce tic severity in some patients. Two RCTs support the efficacy of cannabinoids in this setting. [17]

Nicotine, [199] as well as a nicotine antagonist, mecamylamine, have been touted as treatments for tics. The antagonist has few adverse effects at the doses recommended, but 1 RCT found no statistically significant effect versus placebo. [200] A small blinded study did show some benefit. [88] However, given that nicotine is not a safe drug, its therapeutic use should await more compelling proof of efficacy.


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