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(pronounced ak-uh-THIZH-uh) A common side effect of some medications used to treat schizophrenia, characterized by a constant urge to move; feelings of restlessness; pacing; and extreme anxiety.

The word ‘akathisia’ in Greek is translated literally as ‘not to sit’.

Akathisia is a movement disorder characterized by a feeling of restlessness.

Akathisia is frequently seen in patients also taking anti-psychotic medications.

Patients with akathisia often experience feelings of tension, panic, and irritabilityalong withaneedtomovethebodymorethanusual.

Patients with akathisia also often report a general feeling of unease.

Patients with akathisia may notice that they are pacing or repeatedly shifting their weight from one foot to the other.

Akathisia can also manifest as frequent fidgeting while seated or lying down or repeated crossing and uncrossing of the legs.

Patients taking antidepressants, nausea medication, and certain calcium channel blockers can experience akathisia as well.

Akathisia can occur anywhere from a few days to a few months after the start of a new medication or an increased dose of a medication.

The risk of developing akathisia may increase with higher doses of antipsychotic medications.

There may be a link between experiencing symptoms of akathisia and suicidal thoughts.

Akathisia has also been associated with feelings of rage, aggression, and fear.

The mechanism for how akathisia develops is still not fully understood, but it seems to involve many different pathways in the brain.

Akathisia can sometimes be difficult to tell apart from anxiety, agitation, drug withdrawal, and neurodegenerative movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

Akathisia can sometimes be difficult to tell apart from Restless Leg Syndrome, which is typically limited to the legs.