Austedo: Uses – Side Effects – Warnings

Austedo is a prescription medicine that is utilized to treat certain movement disorders caused by Huntington’s disease and tardive dyskinesia. It contains the active ingredient deutetrabenazine, which works by reducing the amount of certain chemicals in the brain that contribute to abnormal movements. In this article, we will explore the uses, benefits, side effects, and warnings associated with Austedo.

Uses

Austedo is primarily used to treat chorea, a specific type of involuntary movement disorder commonly associated with Huntington’s disease. Chorea is characterized by jerky, uncontrolled movements that can affect various parts of the body. By targeting the chemicals responsible for these abnormal movements, Austedo helps to reduce the severity and frequency of chorea in individuals with Huntington’s disease.

Additionally, Austedo is also approved for the treatment of tardive dyskinesia. Tardive dyskinesia is a movement disorder that occurs as a side effect of certain medications, particularly those used to treat mental health conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Austedo helps to alleviate the symptoms of tardive dyskinesia, which may include repetitive, involuntary movements of the face, tongue, or other body parts.

Benefits

The primary benefit of Austedo is its ability to improve the quality of life for individuals suffering from Huntington’s disease or tardive dyskinesia. By reducing the frequency and severity of abnormal movements, Austedo can help patients regain control over their bodies and perform daily activities more easily. This can lead to an enhanced sense of independence and overall well-being.

Side Effects

As with any medication, Austedo may cause certain side effects. Common side effects include sleepiness, drowsiness, and fatigue. Some individuals may also experience depression, anxiety, or restlessness. It is important to note that these side effects are usually mild and tend to improve over time. However, if they persist or become bothersome, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for further guidance.

In some cases, Austedo may cause more serious side effects. These can include suicidal thoughts or behaviors, especially in individuals with a history of depression or mental health disorders. Other serious side effects may include parkinsonism symptoms (such as rigidity, tremors, or bradykinesia), dizziness, or irregular heartbeat. If any of these side effects occur, immediate medical attention should be sought.

Warnings

Before starting Austedo, it is vital to inform your healthcare provider about any existing medical conditions or allergies. This includes disclosing any history of depression, suicidal thoughts, or other mental health disorders. Austedo may interact with certain medications or substances, so it is crucial to provide a complete list of all current medications, including over-the-counter drugs, supplements, or herbal remedies.

Austedo may cause drowsiness or impair your ability to drive or operate machinery. It is essential to exercise caution while performing tasks that require mental alertness until you know how Austedo affects you personally. Consumption of alcohol should be avoided or limited, as it may exacerbate the sedative effects of Austedo.

FAQs

Can Austedo be used to treat other movement disorders?

Austedo is specifically approved for the treatment of chorea associated with Huntington’s disease and tardive dyskinesia. Its effectiveness in treating other movement disorders has not been established.

How long does it take for Austedo to work?

The time it takes for Austedo to work varies from individual to individual. Some patients may experience a reduction in symptoms within a few weeks, while others may require several months to notice significant improvement.

Can Austedo be taken during pregnancy?

The safety of Austedo during pregnancy has not been established. It is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits with your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

Can Austedo be used in children?

Austedo is not approved for use in children under the age of 18. The safety and efficacy of Austedo in pediatric patients have not been established.

Can Austedo be stopped abruptly?

Abruptly stopping Austedo may worsen the symptoms of Huntington’s disease or tardive dyskinesia. It is crucial to consult your healthcare provider before discontinuing Austedo or making any changes to your treatment regimen.

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