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Understanding HD

Huntington’s disease (HD) is a neurological, hereditary disease. HD has physical, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive effects, and symptoms that can be disruptive to relationships, jobs, and everyday activities. Some symptoms can make performing daily tasks challenging, and may eventually prevent some tasks altogether, such as driving or managing a job or a household.1,2

There are 3 main categories of HD symptoms1:

90% of people with HD will develop chorea

AUSTEDO® (deutetrabenazine) tablets is a medicine to treat HD chorea. It does not treat other symptoms of HD, such as problems with thinking or emotions.

The impact of HD chorea2

Chorea is the most visible symptom of HD and can affect the ability to do everyday activities. With chorea, you may experience involuntary, random movements of various parts of your body. In a survey published in 2016, caregivers reported chorea as the most impactful symptom of HD.

How much does chorea affect your daily activities?1

  • Do you have difficulty pouring a beverage? Drinking?
  • Do you have a hard time brushing your teeth?
  • Do you have trouble bathing or getting dressed?
  • Do you sometimes struggle to form words or speak clearly, due to chorea?
  • Do you have a hard time swallowing or eating?
  • If you’re still working, do you have difficulty controlling your movements while at work?
  • Has the furniture in your home been rearranged to accommodate changes in your ability to move around?


If you’ve answered “yes” to one or more of these questions…

Talk to your doctor about how you can help manage your HD chorea

Approved Uses

AUSTEDO® is a prescription medicine that is used to treat:

  • the involuntary movements (chorea) of Huntington’s disease. AUSTEDO® does not cure the cause of the involuntary movements, and it does not treat other symptoms of Huntington’s disease, such as problems with thinking or emotions.
  • movements in the face, tongue, or other body parts that cannot be controlled (tardive dyskinesia).

It is not known if AUSTEDO® is safe and effective in children.

Important Safety Information

AUSTEDO® can cause serious side effects in people with Huntington’s disease, including: depression, suicidal thoughts, or suicidal actions. Do not start taking AUSTEDO® if you are depressed (have untreated depression or depression that is not well controlled by medicine) or have suicidal thoughts. Pay close attention to any changes, especially sudden changes, in mood, behaviors, thoughts or feelings. This is especially important when AUSTEDO® is started and when the dose is changed. Call your healthcare provider right away if you become depressed, have unusual changes in mood or behavior, or have thoughts of suicide.

Do not take AUSTEDO® if you:

  • have Huntington’s disease and are depressed or have thoughts of suicide.
  • have liver problems.
  • are taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) medicine. Do not take an MAOI within 14 days after you stop taking AUSTEDO®. Do not start AUSTEDO® if you stopped taking an MAOI in the last 14 days. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are not sure.
  • are taking reserpine. Do not take medicines that contain reserpine (such as Serpalan® and Renese®-R) with AUSTEDO®. If your healthcare provider plans to switch you from taking reserpine to AUSTEDO®, you must wait at least 20 days after your last dose of reserpine before you start taking AUSTEDO®.
  • are taking tetrabenazine (Xenazine®). If your healthcare provider plans to switch you from tetrabenazine (Xenazine®) to AUSTEDO®, take your first dose of AUSTEDO® on the day after your last dose of tetrabenazine (Xenazine®).
  • are taking valbenazine (Ingrezza®).

Other possible serious side effects include:

  • Irregular heartbeat (QT prolongation). AUSTEDO® increases your chance of having certain changes in the electrical activity in your heart. These changes can lead to a dangerous abnormal heartbeat. Taking AUSTEDO® with certain medicines may increase this chance. If you are at risk of QT prolongation, your healthcare provider should check your heart before and after increasing your AUSTEDO® dose above 24 mg a day.
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome. Call your healthcare provider right away and go to the nearest emergency room if you develop these signs and symptoms that do not have another obvious cause: high fever, stiff muscles, problems thinking, very fast or uneven heartbeat, or increased sweating.
  • Restlessness. You may get a condition where you feel a strong urge to move. This is called akathisia.
  • Parkinsonism in people with Huntington’s disease. Symptoms include: slight shaking, body stiffness, trouble moving, or keeping your balance.

Sleepiness (sedation) is a common side effect of AUSTEDO®. While taking AUSTEDO®, do not drive a car or operate dangerous machinery until you know how AUSTEDO® affects you. Drinking alcohol and taking other drugs that may also cause sleepiness while you are taking AUSTEDO® may increase any sleepiness caused by AUSTEDO®.

The most common side effects of AUSTEDO® in people with Huntington’s disease include sleepiness (sedation), diarrhea, tiredness, and dry mouth.

The most common side effects of AUSTEDO® in people with tardive dyskinesia include inflammation of the nose and throat (nasopharyngitis) and problems sleeping (insomnia).

These are not all the possible side effects of AUSTEDO®. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please read the accompanying Medication Guide.

References: 1. Nance M, Paulsen JS, Rosenblatt A, Wheelock V. A physician’s guide to the management of Huntington’s disease. 3rd ed. Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) website. http://hdsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/PhysiciansGuide_3rd-Edition.pdf. Published 2011. Accessed February 9, 2017. 2. Huntington’s disease: a family guide. HDSA website. Published 2016. http://hdsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/HDSA_FamilyGuide.pdf. Accessed January 6, 2017.
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Approved Uses

AUSTEDO® is a prescription medicine that is used to treat:

  • the involuntary movements (chorea) of Huntington’s disease. AUSTEDO® does not cure the cause of the involuntary movements, and it does not treat other symptoms of Huntington’s disease, such as problems with thinking or emotions.
  • movements in the face, tongue, or other body parts that cannot be controlled (tardive dyskinesia).

It is not known if AUSTEDO® is safe and effective in children.

Important Safety Information

AUSTEDO® can cause serious side effects in people with Huntington’s disease, including: depression, suicidal thoughts, or suicidal actions. Do not start taking AUSTEDO® if you are depressed (have untreated depression or depression that is not well controlled by medicine) or have suicidal thoughts. Pay close attention to any changes, especially sudden changes, in mood, behaviors, thoughts or feelings. This is especially important when AUSTEDO® is started and when the dose is changed. Call your healthcare provider right away if you become depressed, have unusual changes in mood or behavior, or have thoughts of suicide.

Do not take AUSTEDO® if you:

  • have Huntington’s disease and are depressed or have thoughts of suicide.
  • have liver problems.
  • are taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) medicine. Do not take an MAOI within 14 days after you stop taking AUSTEDO®. Do not start AUSTEDO® if you stopped taking an MAOI in the last 14 days. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are not sure.
  • are taking reserpine. Do not take medicines that contain reserpine (such as Serpalan® and Renese®-R) with AUSTEDO®. If your healthcare provider plans to switch you from taking reserpine to AUSTEDO®, you must wait at least 20 days after your last dose of reserpine before you start taking AUSTEDO®.
  • are taking tetrabenazine (Xenazine®). If your healthcare provider plans to switch you from tetrabenazine (Xenazine®) to AUSTEDO®, take your first dose of AUSTEDO® on the day after your last dose of tetrabenazine (Xenazine®).
  • are taking valbenazine (Ingrezza®).

Other possible serious side effects include:

  • Irregular heartbeat (QT prolongation). AUSTEDO® increases your chance of having certain changes in the electrical activity in your heart. These changes can lead to a dangerous abnormal heartbeat. Taking AUSTEDO® with certain medicines may increase this chance. If you are at risk of QT prolongation, your healthcare provider should check your heart before and after increasing your AUSTEDO® dose above 24 mg a day.
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome. Call your healthcare provider right away and go to the nearest emergency room if you develop these signs and symptoms that do not have another obvious cause: high fever, stiff muscles, problems thinking, very fast or uneven heartbeat, or increased sweating.
  • Restlessness. You may get a condition where you feel a strong urge to move. This is called akathisia.
  • Parkinsonism in people with Huntington’s disease. Symptoms include: slight shaking, body stiffness, trouble moving, or keeping your balance.

Sleepiness (sedation) is a common side effect of AUSTEDO®. While taking AUSTEDO®, do not drive a car or operate dangerous machinery until you know how AUSTEDO® affects you. Drinking alcohol and taking other drugs that may also cause sleepiness while you are taking AUSTEDO® may increase any sleepiness caused by AUSTEDO®.

The most common side effects of AUSTEDO® in people with Huntington’s disease include sleepiness (sedation), diarrhea, tiredness, and dry mouth.

The most common side effects of AUSTEDO® in people with tardive dyskinesia include inflammation of the nose and throat (nasopharyngitis) and problems sleeping (insomnia).

These are not all the possible side effects of AUSTEDO®. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please read the accompanying Medication Guide.

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