Medication Monday: Valbenazine

This week’s Medication Monday is taking a look at valbenazine, which also might be known by the brand name Ingrezza. Valbenazine is a medication used to control the involuntary muscle movements associated with Tardive Dyskinesia (TD). So before we understand what valbenazine is and what it does, we must first understand what TD is.

TD is a side effect caused by the use of anti-psychotic medication. It is characterized by uncontrollable muscle movements. More specifically, symptoms of TD include lip smacking, puckering, or pursing; tongue rolling; jaw clenching; grimacing; hip rocking, jerking, or thrusting; and/or twisting or rhythmic movement in one’s fingers and toes.

Because of the severity of certain mental illnesses that are treated by anti-psychotics, a medication like valbenazine that controls the symptoms of TD might be more beneficial than discontinuing the anti-psychotic altogether.

And what about the valbenazine itself, does it have any side effects that users should know about? As with most medications, the answer is yes. The most common side effects are drowsiness and fatigue. However, in rare situations side effects can include include dizziness, headache, increases in weight, increases in blood sugar, irregular heart rhythm, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, restlessness, abnormal muscle movements, rashes, and swelling of the face, lips, and mouth.

And as I am always reminding readers, Medication Monday is not a substitute for medical advice. If you have questions about the side effects associated with valbenazine, you should direct them directly to your doctor. This post, like all the others in this series, is merely meant to offer you a brief informative introduction so that you can be better prepared to talk to your doctor.

And as always, thanks for reading.

Source: NAMI – Medications – Valbenazine

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