Deutetrabenazine is used to decrease involuntary movements (chorea) caused by Huntington's disease. It is also used to treat involuntary movements of the face, tongue, or other body parts (tardive dyskinesia). However, it is not a cure for the Huntington's disease or tardive dyskinesia. Reducing involuntary movements 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 that affect how your nerves and muscles work (monoamines such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine).
If you have Huntington's disease, deutetrabenazine can sometimes increase the risk of depression and suicidal thoughts/attempts. People with Huntington's disease are already more likely to have depression and suicidal thoughts/attempts. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of this medication. People with Huntington's disease and depression must not use deutetrabenazine if they are not being treated for depression or if they still have symptoms of depression with medication/treatment. Tell your doctor right away if you or your family/caregivers notice that you have new/worsening symptoms of depression, sadness, loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy, suicidal thoughts/attempts, or other mental/mood/behavior changes (such as new/worsening anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, hostile/angry feelings).
How to Use This Medication
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using deutetrabenazine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with food as directed by your doctor, usually once or twice a day. The manufacturer directs not to chew, crush or break the tablet before taking it. However, many similar drugs (immediate-release tablets) can be chewed, crushed or split. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
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 medication for more than 1 week, do not take another dose until you talk to your doctor. You may need to restart your medication at a lower dose.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not get better or if it gets worse.