Information about Tetrabenazine

Tetrabenazine Uses

Tetrabenazine is used in the treatment of Huntington's disease.

How Tetrabenazine works

Tetrabenazine works by depleting the stores of certain chemical messengers in the brain that helps in controlling body movements.

Common side effects of Tetrabenazine

Nausea, Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping), Anxiety, Fatigue, Sleepiness, Akathisia (inability to stay still), Depression
Written By
Reviewed By
MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
Last updated:
18 Feb 2020 | 11:51 AM (UTC)

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Available Medicine for Tetrabenazine

RevoconSun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd
3411 variant(s)
TicstopIntas Pharmaceuticals Ltd
3211 variant(s)
AtrestCentaur Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd
169 to ₹2872 variant(s)
TicfreeLyf Healthcare
2901 variant(s)

Expert advice for Tetrabenazine

  • You have been prescribed Tetrabenazine to help control movement disorders such as in Huntington’s disease.
  • Be cautious while driving or doing anything that requires concentration as Tetrabenazine can cause dizziness and sleepiness.
  • Inform your doctor if you experience symptoms such as high fever, sweating, muscle stiffness, and faster breathing. These may be due to a rare side effect known as the neuroleptic malignant syndrome.
  • Inform your doctor if you develop any unusual changes in mood or behavior, new or worsening depression, or suicidal thoughts or behavior.
  • Do not stop taking Tetrabenazine without talking  to your doctor first as it may cause worsening of symptoms.

Frequently asked questions for Tetrabenazine


Q. Can Tetrabenazine be crushed?

No, Tetrabenazine should not be crushed, cut, or chewed. It needs to be swallowed as a whole. But if you cannot swallow the whole tablet, tell your doctor who will probably prescribe you another medicine.

Q. Is Tetrabenazine an antipsychotic?

Tetrabenazine is not an antipsychotic. It belongs to the vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) inhibitor class of medicines. It works by changing the activity of some natural substances in the brain that affect muscles and nerves.

Q. What is the most important information that I should know about Tetrabenazine?

Tetrabenazine may increase the risk of depression or suicidal thoughts in patients with Huntington’s disease. Huntington’s disease is an inherited disease that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. Therefore, you should not take Tetrabenazine if you have Huntington’s disease along with depression.

Q. What should I avoid while taking Tetrabenazine?

Sleepiness is a common side effect of Tetrabenazine. Therefore, you should avoid driving or operating heavy machinery if you feel sleepy while taking Tetrabenazine.

Q. Can I stop taking Tetrabenazine on my own?

No, you should not stop taking Tetrabenazine suddenly, without talking to your doctor. Sudden discontinuation of the medicine may cause neuroleptic malignant syndrome. This can be characterized by high fever, stiff muscles, confusion, hallucinations, increased sweating, and very fast or uneven heart beat. Hence, to avoid such side effects your doctor will gradually reduce your dose.

Q. Can I take alcohol while on Tetrabenazine?

You should avoid alcohol since it may add to the sleepiness caused by Tetrabenazine. Similarly, you should avoid taking medicines which cause sleepiness. If you are not sure about the effects of the medicine, consult with your doctor.

Q. Does Tetrabenazine affect blood pressure?

Yes, Tetrabenazine may affect the blood pressure. In some patients it may decrease the levels of blood pressure. Along with that, one may experience dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting while getting up quickly from a lying position (orthostatic hypotension). To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, rest your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.


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