Tetrabenazine 112 tablets, 12.5 mg
Tetrabenazine is used to decrease the uncontrollable movements (chorea) caused by Huntington’s disease. However, it is not a cure for the disease. Reducing the chorea will help you take part in more of your normal daily activities. This medication is thought to work by decreasing the amount of certain natural substances in the brain (monoamines such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine), which are involved with nerve and muscle function. Tetrabenazine belongs to a class of drugs called monoamine depletors.
How to use
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using tetrabenazine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually once a day in the morning when you first start treatment or as directed by your doctor. Your doctor may gradually increase your dose to 2 or 3 times a day over several weeks. A slow increase in your dose will help your doctor find the best dose for you while keeping side effects as low as possible.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day.
If you stop taking this drug for several days, then start taking it again, you may need to slowly increase your dose until you reach the regular dose you had been taking. Follow your doctor’s directions on how to restart treatment.
Tell your doctor if your uncontrolled movements do not improve or if they worsen.
See also Warning section.
Drowsiness, trouble sleeping, tiredness, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Your doctor may need to adjust your dose to reduce these side effects.
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Sometimes tetrabenazine can cause side effects that are similar to the symptoms of worsening Huntington’s disease. Your doctor may need to adjust your dose to see if these side effects are due to the drug or to the disease. Tell your doctor right away if any of these serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (such as new/worsening depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, problems with thinking), Parkinson’s disease symptoms (such as shaking/tremors, slowed movement, loss of balance), trouble swallowing, restlessness.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: signs of increased prolactin hormone (such as enlarged breasts, abnormal breast milk production, decreased sexual ability, a change in menstrual cycle).
Seek immediate medical attention if you have any of these rare but serious (possibly fatal) side effects: fast/irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting.
This medication may rarely cause a very serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Get medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, muscle stiffness/pain/tenderness/weakness, severe tiredness, severe confusion, sweating, fast/irregular heartbeat, dark urine, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.