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Xenazine Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking tetrabenazine (Xenazine)?

You should not use this medication 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 tetrabenazine if you have taken reserpine within the past 20 days, or if you have used an MAO inhibitor within the past 14 days. Examples of MAO inhibitors include furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate).

To make sure you can safely take tetrabenazine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • heart disease or recent history of heart attack;
  • a personal or family history of "Long QT syndrome"; or
  • a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or actions.

You may feel depressed or have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking this medication. Tell your doctor if you have worsening depression or suicidal thoughts while taking tetrabenazine.

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 tetrabenazine.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether tetrabenazine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

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 tetrabenazine.

How should I take tetrabenazine (Xenazine)?

Take 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 tetrabenazine.

You may need frequent eye exams while you are taking tetrabenazine. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Side Effects Centers

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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