Tetrabenazine works by depleting the stores of certain chemicals called neurotransmitters within nerve cells in the brain. These neurotransmitters include dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline and are normally involved with the passage of messages between nerve cells in the brain and the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system.Depleting the brain of these neurotransmitters can help control movement disorders caused by diseases of the brain and nervous system, although the exact mechanism of action is not fully understood. Tetrabenazine is mainly used to control movement disorders associated with diseases of the brain and nervous system, such as Huntington's chorea, but can also be used to control movement disorders caused by antipsychotic medicines. The older antipsychotic medicines such as chlorpromazine, haloperidol and flupentixol can cause side effects involving involuntary movement of the tongue, face, mouth and jaw, which may sometimes be accompanied by involuntary movements of the arms and legs (tardive dyskinesia). If this is disabling or socially embarrasing, and persists despite stopping or reducing the dose of the antipsychotic, the symptoms can be treated using tetrabenazine. Tetrabenazine can also be used if it is not possible to stop or change the antipsychotic.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the drug's manufacturer.For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Tetrabenazine should not be taken at the same time as, or for 14 days following a course of monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressants, as this can cause restlessness, disorientation and confusion. Tetrabenazine opposes the effects of levodopa.Tetrabenazine should not be taken with alcohol as this may increase the drowsiness experienced.