PrescriptionGiant is a FREE prescription savings program that can save you up to 75% on your prescriptions with or without insurance!


Actual product appearance may differ slightly.

Click the CARD below to print or take a screenshot on your mobile phone or tablet. There is no need to download another app!

If you would like to personalize your card enter your full name in the member name field below the card at this link and click the Update button.


Deutetrabenazine is a medication primarily used to treat Huntington’s disease and tardive dyskinesia, which are both neurological disorders. Like any medication, it comes with potential risks. Some of these include:

  • Side Effects: Common side effects may include drowsiness, headache, nausea, and insomnia. Less common but more serious side effects could include depression, suicidal thoughts, and irregular heartbeats.
  • Interactions: Deutetrabenazine may interact with other medications, including antidepressants and drugs that affect heart rhythm, potentially leading to adverse effects or reduced efficacy.
  • Black Box Warning: It carries a black box warning, the FDA’s strongest warning, for an increased risk of depression and suicidal thoughts. This is particularly important for individuals with a history of depression or mental health issues.
  • Movement Disorders: Paradoxically, although it’s used to treat movement disorders, it may also cause or worsen them, including parkinsonism, akathisia, restlessness, and dystonia.
  • Heart Conditions: Deutetrabenazine can prolong the QT interval, which is a measure of heart rhythm. This can lead to an increased risk of arrhythmias or other heart-related issues, particularly in individuals with pre-existing heart conditions.
  • Liver Function: It may affect liver function, so regular monitoring of liver enzymes is often necessary during treatment.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: The effects of deutetrabenazine on pregnancy and breastfeeding aren’t well-studied, so it’s typically avoided unless the benefits outweigh the risks.

Always consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice and closely monitor for any adverse effects while taking deutetrabenazine.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Deutetrabenazine is prescribed primarily for two main conditions:

  • Huntington’s Disease: It’s used to treat chorea, which is a characteristic symptom of Huntington’s disease. Chorea involves involuntary jerky movements that can affect various parts of the body, including the face, limbs, and trunk. Deutetrabenazine helps to reduce these abnormal movements and improve motor function in individuals with Huntington’s disease.
  • Tardive Dyskinesia: This medication is also prescribed to manage tardive dyskinesia, which is a side effect of long-term use of certain psychiatric medications, particularly antipsychotics. Tardive dyskinesia involves involuntary movements, such as grimacing, tongue protrusion, and repetitive chewing or smacking motions. Deutetrabenazine helps to lessen the severity of these movements.

How should this medicine be used?

As for how deutetrabenazine should be used:

  • Dosage: The dosage of deutetrabenazine can vary depending on factors such as the individual’s medical condition, response to treatment, and any other medications they may be taking. It’s typically started at a low dose and gradually increased to achieve the desired therapeutic effect while minimizing side effects.
  • Administration: Deutetrabenazine is usually taken orally, with or without food. It comes in tablet form, and the tablets should be swallowed whole, not crushed or chewed.
  • Frequency: It’s typically taken once or twice daily as directed by a healthcare provider. It’s important to follow the prescribed dosing schedule and not to take more or less of the medication than recommended.
  • Monitoring: Regular monitoring by a healthcare provider is important during treatment with deutetrabenazine to assess its effectiveness and monitor for any potential side effects or adverse reactions.

It’s crucial to adhere to the prescribed regimen and to communicate any concerns or changes in symptoms to a healthcare provider promptly.

Other uses for this medicine

While deutetrabenazine is primarily used to treat Huntington’s disease and tardive dyskinesia, there might be some off-label uses or emerging research exploring its potential in other conditions. However, it’s essential to note that using medications off-label should only be done under the guidance and supervision of a healthcare professional.

What special precautions should I follow?

As for special precautions to follow when taking deutetrabenazine:

  • Medical History: Inform your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, including any allergies, past or present medical conditions (especially liver or heart problems), and any medications you are currently taking (including prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal supplements).
  • Black Box Warning: Be aware of the black box warning associated with deutetrabenazine, which highlights the increased risk of depression and suicidal thoughts. Individuals and caregivers should monitor for changes in mood or behavior and report any concerns to a healthcare provider promptly.
  • Psychiatric Effects: Deutetrabenazine can cause or worsen depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric symptoms. If you experience mood changes, suicidal thoughts, or unusual behaviors, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Heart Rhythm: Due to its potential to prolong the QT interval, deutetrabenazine should be used cautiously in individuals with a history of heart rhythm disorders or those taking medications that also affect heart rhythm. Regular monitoring of electrocardiograms (ECGs) may be necessary.
  • Liver Function: Deutetrabenazine may affect liver function, so liver enzymes should be monitored regularly, especially during the initial stages of treatment and with any dose adjustments.
  • Driving and Operating Machinery: Deutetrabenazine may cause drowsiness and dizziness, which can impair your ability to drive or operate machinery safely. Avoid engaging in such activities until you know how the medication affects you.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Inform your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. The effects of deutetrabenazine on pregnancy and lactation are not well-established, so the risks and benefits should be carefully considered.
  • Alcohol and Other Central Nervous System Depressants: Avoid alcohol and other medications that depress the central nervous system (such as sedatives, tranquilizers, and certain pain medications) while taking deutetrabenazine, as they can enhance its sedative effects.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and ask any questions you may have about deutetrabenazine or its precautions.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Regarding special dietary instructions, there are no specific dietary restrictions associated with deutetrabenazine. However, it’s always advisable to maintain a balanced and healthy diet as part of overall wellness.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of deutetrabenazine, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you have any concerns or questions about missed doses, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Deutetrabenazine, like any medication, can cause side effects. Some of the common side effects of deutetrabenazine include:

  • Drowsiness: Feeling excessively sleepy or tired during the day.
  • Insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • Nausea: Feeling queasy or experiencing an upset stomach.
  • Headache: Mild to moderate headaches.
  • Fatigue: Feeling tired or lacking energy.
  • Diarrhea: Changes in bowel habits, including loose stools.
  • Anxiety: Feeling nervous or anxious.
  • Depression: Changes in mood, including feelings of sadness or hopelessness.
  • Parkinsonism: Symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease, such as tremors, stiffness, and slow movement.
  • Akathisia: Restlessness or a feeling of inner restlessness that can be distressing.
  • Dystonia: Involuntary muscle contractions that cause repetitive or twisting movements.

It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these side effects, and some individuals may experience side effects not listed here. Additionally, some side effects may go away as your body adjusts to the medication, while others may require medical attention.

If you experience any side effects while taking deutetrabenazine, it’s essential to inform your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance on managing side effects and may adjust your treatment plan if necessary. Additionally, if you experience severe or concerning side effects, such as changes in mood or irregular heartbeats, seek medical attention promptly.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and disposal of deutetrabenazine:

  • Storage: Store deutetrabenazine tablets at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Keep the medication in its original container, tightly closed, and out of reach of children and pets. Avoid storing it in the bathroom or other areas with high humidity.
  • Disposal: Dispose of deutetrabenazine tablets properly according to local regulations or as instructed by your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless specifically instructed to do so. Instead, dispose of unused or expired medications through a medication take-back program or by using a drug disposal pouch.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • Emergency: If you suspect an overdose or experience severe symptoms after taking deutetrabenazine, such as difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, seizures, or irregular heartbeat, seek emergency medical attention immediately. Call emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.
  • Overdose: Symptoms of deutetrabenazine overdose may include excessive drowsiness, confusion, hallucinations, irregular heartbeat, fainting, and difficulty breathing. If you suspect an overdose, contact your local poison control center or seek medical help promptly.

What other information should I know?

  • Follow Instructions: Take deutetrabenazine exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not alter your dosage or stop taking the medication without consulting your healthcare provider first.
  • Regular Monitoring: Attend regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider to monitor your response to deutetrabenazine and to check for any potential side effects or complications.
  • Drug Interactions: Inform your healthcare provider about all medications you are currently taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and herbal supplements, as deutetrabenazine may interact with certain medications.
  • Driving and Machinery: Deutetrabenazine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or other side effects that can impair your ability to drive or operate machinery safely. Avoid engaging in such activities until you know how the medication affects you.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the risks and benefits of deutetrabenazine with your healthcare provider before starting treatment.
  • Patient Assistance Programs: If you have difficulty affording your medication, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about patient assistance programs or other resources that may be available to help.
Copyright © 2023