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Description

Xenazine is an oral tablet made up of a VMAT2 inhibitor (vesicular monoamine transporter-2 inhibitor) called tetrabenazine. We carry this medication in both the brand name and generic alternative in 25mg!

Xenazine (tetrabenazine) is prescribed to those who have Huntington's disease to help control symptoms of uncontrollable muscle movements. This is a disease that gradually kills of nerve cells in the brain over time which can affect the body, mind, and emotions. Chorea, another name for uncontrollable muscle movements, is a direct effect of this disease, and can be treated with Xenazine.

Xenazine (tetrabenazine) is effective at treating chorea in Huntington’s disease patients because of its ability to decrease natural monoamines such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine in the brain which are associated with nerve and muscle function.

Directions

Your doctor will tell you before prescribing you Xenazine (tetrabenazine) exactly how to take this medication. Follow his or her directions, they can usually be found on the prescription label if you forget. Do not use more or less of a dose than directed to by your doctor; your dose may occasionally change during treatment. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor first; symptoms may return if you suddenly stop taking this medication.

Xenazine can be taken with or without food; swallow whole with a glass of water. Store in room temperature away from heat and moisture.

Cautions

Do not use Xenazine (tetrabenazine)

This medication should not be used by those who are allergic to tetrabenazine, have severe or untreated depression, suicidal thoughts, liver disease, or if you have taken reserpine in the past 20 days.

You should not use this medication if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 2 weeks (14 days); a dangerous interaction between the drugs may occur.

Dose adjustment or special precautions may be required

To make sure this medication is safe for you, tell your doctor about all medical conditions you have, especially if you have depression, an emotional disorder, 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 have recently had a heart attack.

Risks

You may have depression or suicidal thoughts while being treated with Xenazine; stay alert to all changes in your mood and behavior and report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.

It has not been established whether this medication will harm an unborn baby, if it will pass into breast milk, or if it will harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breast feeding.

Side Effects

Common side effects of Xenazine (tetrabenazine) may include:

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

The above side effects should not alarm you.

Serious side effects of Xenazine (tetrabenazine) may include: 

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; or a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out.

If you have any of the above side effects, contact your doctor right away.

Please note this is not a complete list of side effects. Not everyone experiences side effects; they are not guaranteed. If you do have side effects and they become unmanageable, consult your doctor about alternate medications.

Contact your doctor if you notice signs of…

severe nervous system reaction: very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats.

FAQs

What is the recommended dose for an adult with Huntington’s disease?

The recommended dose for an adult with Huntington’s disease is an initial dose of 12.5mg per day during week 1; 12.5mg twice per day during week 2. Do not exceed more than 25mg in a single dose.

What other drugs may interact with tetrabenazine?

Other drugs that interact with tetrabenazine include amiodarone, amoxapine, anagrelide, aripiprazole, arsenic trioxide, and asenapine. This is not a complete list of drugs that interact with tetrabenazine.

How should I store this medication?

This medication should be protected from heat and moisture to avoid nullifying the medication.

What else should I know about Xenazine?

Drinking alcohol while using this medication may increase your risk of side effects; it is better to avoid alcohol while using this medication, however, it is not mandatory.