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Article
April 1995

Diphenhydramine Is Effective in the Treatment of Idiopathic Dystonia

Author Affiliations

From the Parkinson and Movement Disorders Program, Department of Neurology, University of California, Irvine.

Arch Neurol. 1995;52(4):405-407. doi:10.1001/archneur.1995.00540280095022
Abstract

Objective:  To assess the effectiveness of diphenhydramine hydrochloride (Benadryl) in the treatment of patients with idiopathic truncal dystonia.

Design:  Before-and-after trial.

Setting:  University referral center.

Patients:  Five consecutive patients with idiopathic truncal dystonia who were poorly treated with conventional pharmacotherapies. No patients were withdrawn from the trial for adverse side effects.

Interventions:  Treatments with diphenhydramine hydrochloride (50 mg intravenously or up to 500 mg/kg orally). Follow-up for up to 20 months.

Main Outcome Measure:  Dystonia evaluation.

Results:  Diphenhydramine therapy was associated with minimal side effects, and it was most effective in treating patients with dystonia who experienced lightning jerks. Treatment with intravenous diphenhydramine may have a predictive value on a future response to oral therapy.

Conclusion:  Diphenhydramine should be considered a therapeutic option for idiopathic truncal dystonia with lightning jerks.

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