In earlier open studies, beta-blockers were found to be effective in the
treatment of neuroleptic-induced akathisia. In the present study, 16
patients with severe neuroleptic-induced akathisia successively received
low doses of three beta-blockers--propranolol, sotalol, and betaxolol.
There was rapid and complete improvement in seven of 16 patients (and
partial improvement in three patients) treated with betaxolol. The efficacy
of propranolol and betaxolol and failure of sotalol in treating
neuroleptic-induced akathisia suggest a central mechanism of action.