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Pronunciation: TET ra BEN a zeen

Brand: Xenazine

What is the most important information I should know about tetrabenazine?

You may have depression or thoughts about suicide while taking this medicine. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.

You should not use tetrabenazine if you have severe or untreated depression, suicidal thoughts, liver disease, or if you have taken reserpine in the past 20 days.

Do not use tetrabenazine if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

What is tetrabenazine?

Tetrabenazine reduces the amount of certain chemicals in the body that are overly active in people with Huntington's disease.

Tetrabenazine is used to treat Huntington's chorea (uncontrolled muscle movements).

Tetrabenazine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking tetrabenazine?

You should not use tetrabenazine if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • severe or untreated depression;
  • suicidal thoughts;
  • liver disease; or
  • if you have taken reserpine in the past 20 days.

Do not use tetrabenazine if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

To make sure tetrabenazine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • depression, an emotional disorder, or mental illness;
  • a history of suicidal thoughts or actions;
  • past or present breast cancer;
  • heart disease or heart rhythm disorder;
  • a personal or family history of long QT syndrome; or
  • if you recently had a heart attack.

Taking tetrabenazine may increase your risk of depression or thoughts about suicide. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether tetrabenazine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How should I take tetrabenazine?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

You may take tetrabenazine with or without food.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.

You should not stop using tetrabenazine suddenly or your symptoms may return. Talk to your doctor before you stop taking this medicine.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

If you miss your doses for more than 5 days in a row, ask your doctor before you start taking tetrabenazine again.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking tetrabenazine?

This medicine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Drinking alcohol with this medicine can cause side effects.

What are the possible side effects of tetrabenazine?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • tremors, shaking, restless movement, problems with balance;
  • uncontrolled muscle movements in your face (chewing, lip smacking, frowning, tongue movement, blinking or eye movement);
  • trouble swallowing;
  • fast or pounding heartbeats;
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out; or
  • severe nervous system reaction --very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats.

Common side effects may include:

  • drowsiness, tiredness;
  • depressed mood;
  • nausea; or
  • feeling anxious, agitated, or restless.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect tetrabenazine?

Other drugs may interact with tetrabenazine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about tetrabenazine.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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