What is akathisia?

The most serious problem with akathisia is that it is often not detected early. Sometimes confused with other conditions and symptoms overlooked

Akathisia is defined as a movement disorder characterized by great difficulty remaining still, accompanied by a subjective feeling of restlessness. If the person does not move, he experiences anguish or an itching sensation, for example.

This syndrome affects the quality of life in a noticeable way. It has been associated with aggressive behavior and even with an increased risk of suicide.

In older adults it is a risk factor for falls. Akathisia is estimated to be present in 20-75% of people taking antipsychotics.

Depending on the moment in which the condition appears, it can be of different types:

  • Acute: arises soon after starting a medicine and lasts less than 6 months.
  • Chronic: when it lasts more than 6 months.
  • Late: appears months or years after starting the drug in question.
  • By withdrawal: it occurs during the 6 weeks after abandoning a medication.

Akathisia is sometimes confused with another disorder called tardive dyskinesia. The latter is also a side effect of antipsychotics.

The difference between one and the other is that, in dyskinesia, the person is not aware that they are moving. In akathisia yes.