Xenazine: Introduction, Prescription, Intake, Side Effects, Doses, Precautions, Interactions

What is Xenazine?

Xenazine (tetrabenazine) lowers the concentration of specific biochemicals in the body that are excessively active in people with Huntington’s disease. It is recommended to cure Huntington’s chorea, which involves unrestrained muscle movements. The drug can also be used for purposes not mentioned in this concise medication guide.

What are the common conditions in which Xenazine prescribed?

Common Conditions in which Xenazine is prescribedThis medicine is suggested to treat Huntington’s chorea by lessening certain highly active chemicals in the body.

How should I take Xenazine?

  • Strictly follow the instructions on the prescription label and take it in the recommended amounts and for advised duration only.  Your doctor may also alter your dosage frequently as per the requirements of the treatment.
  • The medication can be used along with or without food.
  • If you do not see any noticeable improvement in the condition, or it gets worse, visit your doctor.
  • Never discontinue using this prescription abruptly, else your symptoms may retreat. Before stopping the drug, talk to your doctor.
  • Store at room temperature in a cool and dry spot.

Points to remember while taking Xenazine

  • Typical Adult Dose for Huntington’s disease:
    • Initial dosage:
      • First week: 12.5 mg orally everyday
      • Second week: 12.5 mg orally 2 times everyday
    • Maintenance dosage:
      • Titrate by 12.5 mg orally weekly to tolerated dose that alleviates chorea

Xenazine dosage for Huntington's Chorea

    • Maximum dosage:
      • 37.5 to 50 mg daily should be given in 3 separate doses
      • Maximum recommended single dose: 25 mg

When you should not take Xenazine?

Do not take this drug, if you are suffering from serious or unattended depression, suicidal cognition, liver conditions or if you have administered reserpine in the past 20 days. This medicine may trigger suicidal thoughts and depressive behaviour, so be alert to the mood changes and if you notice any new symptoms or worsening of your condition, get to your doctor.

Avoid this drug in case you have taken MAO inhibitor in the last 14 days. This can cause lethal drug interaction. To name some MAO inhibitors isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

Avoid Xenazine, if you are or have

Quit the medicine and visit your medic if you observe any worsening of the symptoms or if you get new symptoms such as: mood or behaviour changes, convolution, difficulty in swallowing, problems with balance, unrestrained muscle movements, extreme drowsiness, or if you feel restive, disturbed, hyper (mentally or physically), dejected, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Do not use this drug if you are allergic to it or if you have any of the following:

  • Serious or untreated depression;
  • suicidal thoughts;
  • liver condition; or
  • if you have used reserpine in the past 20 days.

To ensure the medicine is safe for your use, inform your doctor, if you have any of the below condition:

  • depression, an emotional disorder, or mental illness;
  • a history of suicidal thoughts or actions;
  • past or present breast cancer;
  • heart disease or heart rhythm disorder;
  • an individual or family history of long QT syndrome; or
  • if you presently had a heart attack.

Having this medicine can heighten your risks to develop depression or get suicidal thoughts. It is crucial that you pay regular visits to your doctor. The care provider and family should show concern and notice any mood changes or other signs.

It is yet undiscovered whether this med will impact the foetus. Apprize your doctor if are pregnant or plan to get pregnant in the near future. There are no reports yet on if this drug communes into the breast milk or if it impacts the suckling baby. Avoid breastfeeding while taking the medication.

What are the possible side effects of Xenazine?

If you experience symptoms of allergic response to the medication such as hives, shallow breath, inflammation in your face or throat, seek immediate medical attention.

If there are any new symptoms or aggravation in the symptoms a patient already has like: mood or behaviour changes, anxiety, panic attacks, sleeping difficulties, or if you feel impetuous, short-tempered, disturbed, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-injury.

Tell your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • tremors, shaking, restless movement, problems with balance;
  • unrestrained muscle movements in your face (chewing, lip-smacking, frowning, tongue movement, blinking or eye movement);
  • difficulty in swallowing;
  • fast or thumping heartbeats;
  • feeling extremely dizzy
  • serious nervous system reaction: stiff muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or random heartbeats.

Major Side Effects

Usual side effects may comprise:

  • drowsiness, fatigue;
  • depressed mood;
  • nausea; or
  • feeling anxious, distressed, or restless.

Common Side Effects

This is not a thorough list of side effects, and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about other side effects

What to do if I miss the dose?

Take the medicine as per the schedule. And in case you miss a dose, take it as soon as you are reminded of it. However, if it is almost the time of your next dose, skip the missed one. Avoid taking extra doses at a time to compensate for the missed dosage.

If you miss the Dose of Xenazine

Although, if you have missed your prescription for more 5 days in a line, consult your doctor before restarting the treatment.

Common Drug Interaction with Xenazine

Other medications may interact with this medicine, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Common Drug Interaction

This is not the complete list of drug interactions.

Bottom Line

Xenazine is used to treat Huntington’s chorea, which consist of unrestrained muscle movements. Being a strict prescriptive medicine, it should not be taken without doctor’s consultation. Strictly follow all the instructions while using this drug else serious consequences may ensue.

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