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Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to the most common Xenazine questions.

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Home | Already Prescribed | Getting Your Prescription

How to Get Xenazine® (tetrabenazine)

If you and your doctor decide that Xenazine is right for you, your doctor will fax a prescription form to the Xenazine Information Center (XIC).

A dedicated team is available at the XIC to help you or your loved one through the prescription process. You will be able to talk to a nurse at the XIC to ask questions that you may have about Xenazine.

Step 1: Fill out a treatment form

Your doctor will complete, sign and fax the Xenazine Treatment Form to the XIC. This form contains information about you, your insurance, your prescription and instructions on how to take Xenazine. You or your caregiver will also be asked to sign this form.

Step 2: Obtain insurance verification


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If you have prescription insurance, an XIC representative will contact your insurance company to see whether your insurance plan will cover Xenazine. The XIC representative will then call you to discuss your co-pay amount.

If you have concerns about paying for Xenazine, you should discuss them with the XIC representative, who will explain financial assistance programs that are available.

Step 3: Receive medication mailed from a specialty pharmacy

Once your insurance coverage is verified, a specialty pharmacy will fill your Xenazine prescription based on your doctor’s instructions. The exact specialty pharmacy that will send your medication depends on your insurance plan. The pharmacy could be Accredo, Caremark, Curascript, or Advanced Care Scripts (ACS).

The specialty pharmacy will also collect any co-payments due and mail your prescription, along with a Medication Guide, to either your home or your doctor’s office as directed on the treatment form.

You may receive your first Xenazine prescription within five days after the physician’s office faxes a completed treatment form.* The specialty pharmacy may also send you refill reminders to ensure that you do not stop or forget to take your medication. It is important to always return calls from specialty pharmacies. Specialty pharmacies cannot deliver refills if they can't contact you.

Always discuss any concerns or changes in how you take your medication with your doctor.

Three important reminders

Remember, getting your Xenazine every month is easy if you keep in mind these three important steps:

  • A representative from the XIC will call to verify your prescription, check on your insurance coverage and explain that a specialty pharmacy will handle your prescription.
  • Your specialty pharmacy will call about your shipment of Xenazine. The pharmacy will also call when you need a new prescription from your doctor.
  • Returning phone calls from your doctor, the XIC and specialty pharmacy can ensure that you’ll receive your Xenazine when you need it.

Your contact list

There may be times when you have questions for your doctor, the XIC or your specialty pharmacy, but who’s the best person to call?

Print and fill out this contact sheet. Fill in the names of important people in your care network to help you determine whom to call and when in one simple document.

*Program not available in all states.

XENAZINE® (tetrabenazine) Tablets

Indications and Usage:

XENAZINE is a medicine that is used to treat the involuntary movements (chorea) of Huntington's disease. XENAZINE 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.

It is not known whether XENAZINE is safe and effective in children.

Important Safety Information:

  • XENAZINE can cause serious side effects, including:
    • depression
    • suicidal thoughts
    • suicidal actions
  • You should not start taking XENAZINE 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, or worsening depression. This is especially important when XENAZINE is started and when the dose is changed.
  • Do not take XENAZINE if you have liver problems or are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or reserpine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure. At least 20 days should pass after stopping reserpine before starting XENAZINE.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, breast-feeding, have breast cancer or a history of breast cancer, or have heart disease or an irregular heartbeat.
  • Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take. Do not start any new medicines while taking XENAZINE without talking to your doctor first.
  • Take XENAZINE exactly as prescribed by your doctor. The need for therapy should be evaluated on an ongoing basis with your doctor. The dose of XENAZINE should be adjusted slowly over several weeks for a dose that is appropriate for you. Tell your doctor if you stop taking XENAZINE for more than 5 days. Do not take another dose until you talk to your doctor. If your doctor thinks you need to take more than 50 mg of XENAZINE each day, you will need to have a blood test to see if a higher dose is right for you.
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) is a potentially fatal side effect reported with XENAZINE. Call your doctor 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. XENAZINE should be stopped immediately if NMS is diagnosed.
  • XENAZINE can also cause other serious side effects, including: parkinsonism (slight shaking, body stiffness, trouble moving, or keeping your balance), restlessness (akathisia), trouble swallowing, irregular heartbeat, and dizziness due to blood pressure changes when you change position (orthostatic hypotension). Trouble swallowing may increase the risk of pneumonia. Uncontrolled movements called tardive dyskinesia (TD) may also develop in patients treated with XENAZINE. It is possible that the TD will not go away.
  • The risk of side effects, such as irregular heartbeat, parkinsonism, NMS, and restlessness (akathisia), may be increased when using XENAZINE with other drugs (e.g., dopamine antagonists or antipsychotics).
  • Sleepiness is a common side effect of XENAZINE; do not drive a car or operate dangerous machinery until you know how XENAZINE affects you. Alcohol and other drugs may increase sleepiness caused by XENAZINE.
  • Some side effects, such as depression, tiredness, trouble sleeping, sleepiness, parkinsonism, agitation, and restlessness (akathisia), may be dose-dependent. If the side effects don’t stop or lessen, your doctor should consider lowering the dose or stopping your XENAZINE. The most commonly reported side effects in studies with XENAZINE were sleepiness, trouble sleeping, depression, tiredness, anxiety, restlessness, agitation, and nausea.

For more information, please see the full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning, the Medication Guide or go to www.XenazineUSA.com.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Sources:

  1. "FDA Approves First Drug for Treatment of Chorea in Huntington's Disease", FDA News Release, August 15, 2008: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2008/ucm116936.htm. Updated April 15, 2013. Accessed August 17, 2015.