Generic Name: tetrabenazine, Oral tablet

Xenazine

All Brands

  • Xenazine
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for tetrabenazine

Oral tablet
1
TETRABENAZINE (TET ra BEN a zeen) is used to treat the involuntary movements of Huntington's disease, also known as Huntington's chorea.
2 3 4
Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any of these conditions.
5
Know what to watch for and get tips for reducing your risks while taking this drug.
SECTION 2 of 4

tetrabenazine Side Effects

Oral tablet

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • difficulty swallowing
  • dizziness or fainting
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • low blood pressure
  • restless with urgent need to move
  • stiff muscles, fever, and sweating
  • suicidal thoughts or other mood changes
  • uncontrollable head, mouth, neck, arm, or leg movements
  • unusually weak or tired

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • change in sex drive or performance
  • constipation
  • drowsiness
  • stomach upset
  • trouble sleeping
SECTION 3 of 4

tetrabenazine May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • reserpine

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alcohol
  • fluoxetine
  • medicines for psychotic disturbances
  • medicines for sleep
  • paroxetine
  • quinidine
SECTION 4 of 4

How to Use tetrabenazine

Oral tablet

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacy with each new prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • brain tumor
  • breast cancer
  • difficulty swallowing
  • head injury
  • heart disease
  • if you frequently drink alcohol containing drinks
  • kidney or liver disease
  • low blood pressure or dizziness when standing up
  • Parkinson's disease
  • suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt by you or a family member
  • taken an MAOI like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, or Parnate in last 14 days
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to tetrabenazine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding
What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. It may be several weeks before you see the full effects of this medicine.

Patients and their families should watch out for worsening depression or thoughts of suicide. If this happens, especially at the beginning treatment or after a change in dose, call your health care professional.

You may get dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol can increase dizziness and drowsiness. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

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Last Updated: September 14, 2009

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