Deutetrabenazine

Deutetrabenazine may increase the risk of depression or suicidal thoughts (thinking about harming or killing yourself or planning or trying to do so) in people with Huntington’s disease (an inherited disease that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain). Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had depression and if you have or have ever had thoughts about harming or killing yourself. If you have Huntington’s disease and are depressed or have suicidal thoughts, your doctor will probably tell you not to take deutetrabenazine. You, your family, or caregiver should call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: new or worsening depression, thoughts about harming or killing yourself or planning or trying to do so, extreme worry, agitation, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, aggressive or hostile behavior, irritability, acting without thinking, severe restlessness, anxiety, changes in body weight, loss of interest in social interactions, difficulty paying attention, or any other unusual changes in behavior. Be sure that your family or caregiver checks on you regularly and knows which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.

Keep all appointments with your doctor. Your doctor will probably want to talk with you about your mental health while you are taking this medication.

Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer’s patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with deutetrabenazine and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm) or the manufacturer’s website to obtain the Medication Guide.

🔔 Why is this medication prescribed?

Deutetrabenazine is used to treat chorea (sudden movements that you cannot control) caused by Huntington’s disease (an inherited disease that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain). It is also used to treat tardive dyskinesia (uncontrollable movement of the face, tongue, or other body parts). Deutetrabenazine is in a class of medications called vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) inhibitors. It works by changing the activity of certain natural substances in the brain that affect nerves and muscles.

🔔 How should this medicine be used?

Deutetrabenazine comes as a tablet or extended release tablet to take by mouth. The tablet is usually taken twice a day with food. The extended release tablet is usually taken once a day with or without food. Take deutetrabenazine at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take deutetrabenazine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

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Swallow the tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.

Inflated pharmaceutical prices are another huge factor in the steep cost of healthcare. Americans spend an average of $858 per person on prescription drugs, according to Vox. That’s about twice as much as people in Australia spend on prescriptions. It’s three times the amount paid by people in The Netherlands.

Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of deutetrabenazine and gradually increase your dose, not more than once every week.

Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.

🔔 Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

🔔 What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking deutetrabenazine,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to deutetrabenazine, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in deutetrabenazine tablets or extended release tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • Some medications should not be taken with deutetrabenazine. Make sure you have discussed any medications you have recently taken, are currently taking or plan to take before starting deutetrabenazine with your doctor and pharmacist. Before starting, stopping or changing any medications while taking deutetrabenazine, please get the advice of your doctor or pharmacist. Your doctor may need to change the dose of your medicine(s) or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have liver disease or breast cancer or a history of breast cancer. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take deutetrabenazine.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had long QT syndrome (condition that increases the risk of developing an irregular heartbeat that may cause fainting or sudden death) or another type of irregular heart beat or heart rhythm problem. Also tell your doctor if you have low blood levels of magnesium or potassium in your blood or breast cancer.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking deutetrabenazine, call your doctor.
  • you should know that deutetrabenazine may make you drowsy or cause tiredness. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
  • you should know that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication. Do not drink alcohol while taking deutetrabenazine.

🔔 What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.