Drugs & Medications
What is Xenazine?
Xenazine (tetrabenazine) reduces the amount of certain chemicals in the body that are overly active in people with Huntington's disease.
Xenazine is used to treat Huntington's chorea (uncontrolled muscle movements).
Xenazine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Important information about Xenazine
You should not use Xenazine if you are allergic to tetrabenazine, or if you have severe or untreated depression, suicidal thoughts, liver disease, or past or present breast cancer. Do not use Xenazine if you have taken reserpine within the past 20 days, or if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days.
Before you take Xenazine, tell your doctor if you have heart disease or a recent history of heart attack, a personal or family history of "Long QT syndrome," or a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or actions.
Xenazine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
You may feel depressed or have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking Xenazine. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits during treatment.
Stop taking Xenazine and call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, confusion, trouble swallowing, problems with balance, uncontrolled muscle movements, extreme drowsiness, or if you feel restless, agitated, hyperactive (mentally or physically), depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Before taking Xenazine
You should not use Xenazine if you are allergic to tetrabenazine, or if you have:
To make sure you can safely take Xenazine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits while you are taking Xenazine.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Xenazine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using Xenazine. It is not known whether tetrabenazine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking Xenazine.
How should I take Xenazine?
Take Xenazine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
Call your doctor if your chorea symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while taking Xenazine.
You may need frequent eye exams while you are taking Xenazine. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Store Xenazine 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.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms may include some of the serious side effects listed in this medication guide.
What should I avoid while taking Xenazine?
Xenazine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of Xenazine.
Xenazine side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Xenazine: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using Xenazine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
What other drugs will affect Xenazine?
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially: