It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to see if the medicine is working properly and to allow for changes in the dose.
Tetrabenazine may cause some people to be agitated, irritable, or display other abnormal behaviors. It may also cause some people to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies, or to become more depressed. If you or your caregiver notice any of these side effects, tell your doctor right away.
Do not take this medicine if you are also taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan®), phenelzine (Nardil®), selegiline (Eldepryl®), or tranylcypromine (Parnate®). If you have questions, check with your doctor.
Do not take this medicine if you are also taking reserpine (Harmonyl®). Wait at least 20 days after stopping reserpine before starting tetrabenazine. If you have questions, check with your doctor.
Check with your doctor right away if you have more than one of these symptoms while taking this medicine: convulsions (seizures), difficulty with breathing, a fast heartbeat, a high fever, high or low blood pressure, increased sweating, loss of bladder control, severe muscle stiffness, unusually pale skin, or tiredness. These could be symptoms of a serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).
This medicine may cause drowsiness, trouble with thinking, or trouble with controlling movements. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert or able to think well.
Make sure your doctor knows if you are using chlorpromazine (Thorazine®), thioridazine (Mellaril®), ziprasidone (Geodon®), moxifloxacin (Avelox®), quinidine, procainamide (Pronestyl®), amiodarone (Cordarone®), or sotalol (Betapase®). Using any of these medicines together with tetrabenazine may cause serious side effects.
This medicine may cause tardive dyskinesia (a movement disorder). This may not go away after you stop using the medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms while taking this medicine: lip smacking or puckering, puffing of the cheeks, rapid or worm-like movements of the tongue, uncontrolled chewing movements, or uncontrolled movements of the arms and legs.
Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur, especially when you get up from a lying or sitting position. Getting up slowly may help. If the problem continues or gets worse, check with your doctor.
This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol and other central nervous system (CNS) depressants. CNS depressants are medicines that slow down the nervous system, which may cause drowsiness or make you less alert. Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, allergies, or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; prescription pain medicine or narcotics; barbiturates (used for seizures); muscle relaxants; or anesthetics (numbing medicines), including some dental anesthetics. This effect may last for a few days after you stop taking this medicine. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you are using this medicine.