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Generic name: valbenazine (val BEN a zeen)
Capsules: 40 mg x 7 capsules, 80 mg x 21 capsules
All FDA warnings are at the end of this fact sheet. Please consult them before taking this medication.
Valbenazine is a medication that is used to decrease the frequency and severity of involuntary, uncontrollable muscle movements that are related to a condition known as Tardive Dyskinesia (TD). TD is associated with chronic use of certain medications, such as antipsychotics.
Symptoms of TD include:
Valbenazine may help improve some or all of these symptoms.
For valbenazine to work properly, it should be taken every day as prescribed by your health care provider.
Missing doses of valbenazine may increase your risk for a relapse in your symptoms.
Valbenazine may cause drowsiness. Avoid activities that require alertness, such as driving a car or operating machinery until you learn how your body respond to it.
If you feel faint or have heart palpitations, consult with your doctor immediately.
Only your health care provider can determine the length of valbenazine treatment that is right for you. Do not stop taking valbenazine or change your dose without talking to your health care provider first.
If you are planning on becoming pregnant, notify your health care provider to best manage your medications. People living with TD who wish to become pregnant face important decisions. Currently, there are no well-controlled human studies of valbenazine in pregnancy. However, increased rates of stillbirths were seen in animal studies. It is important to discuss the risk and benefits of treatment with your doctor and caregivers.
Caution is advised with breast-feeding since it is not known if valbenazine passes into your breast milk. However, increased rates of fetal and newborn mortality were seen in animal studies. Therefore, the manufacturer recommends against breastfeeding during treatment with valbenazine and for 5 days after the last dose. Talk to your doctor about the best way to feed your baby during treatment with valbenazine.
How should I take valbenazine?
Valbenazine is usually taken once a day, with or without food.
Typically patients begin at 40 mg once a day and dose may be increased to 80 mg once a day after a week of treatment. Only your health care provider can determine the correct dose for you.
Use a calendar, pillbox, alarm clock, or cell phone alert to help you remember to take your medication. You may also ask a family member to remind you or check in with you to be sure you are taking your medication.
If you miss a dose of valbenazine, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is closer to the time of your next dose. Discuss this with your health care provider. Do not double your next dose or take more than what is prescribed.
Avoid drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs while you are taking valbenazine. They may decrease the benefits (e.g., worsen your condition) and increase adverse effects (e.g., sedation) of the medication. When taking valbenazine for the first time, do not drive or operate dangerous machinery until you know how the medication affects you.
If an overdose occurs call your doctor or 911. You may need urgent medical care. You may also contact the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.
A specific treatment to reverse the effects of valbenazine does not exist.
Common side effects
The most common side effects of taking valbenazine are fatigue, drowsiness, sleepiness, dry mouth, constipation, restlessness, nausea, vomiting, and joint pain
Rare/serious side effects
Rare/serious side effects may include dizziness, muscle aches, increases in weight or blood sugar, abnormal muscle movements, irregular heart rhythm, rash, and swelling of the face, lips, and mouth.
To date, there are no known problems associated with long term use of valbenazine. It is a safe and effective medication when used as directed.
Valbenazine should not be taken with or within 2 weeks of taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), as these medications can increase side effects and decrease the effectiveness of valbenazine. MAOIs include phenelzine (Nardil®), tranylcypromine (Parnate®), isocarboxazid (Marplan®), and selegiline (Emsam®).
Valbenazine should not be taken with tetrabenazine (Xenazine®) or deutetrabenazine (Austedo®)
The following medications may increase the levels and effects of valbenazine:
The following medications may decrease the levels and effects of valbenazine:
Concurrent use of valbenazine may increase the level of the antiarrhythmic medication digoxin (Lanoxin®)
Using valbenazine with antipsychotics, tricyclic antidepressants, certain heart medications and antibiotics may increase the risk of developing irregular heart rhythms.
It is very important to tell your doctor how you feel things are going during the first few weeks after you start taking valbenazine. It may take several weeks to see big enough changes in your symptoms to decide if valbenazine is the right medication for you.
No black box warnings exist for this medication at this time.
Last Reviewed: February 2024
Important Disclosure: This information is being provided as a community outreach effort of the American Association of Psychiatric Pharmacists. This information is for educational and informational purposes only and is not medical advice. This information contains a summary of important points and is not an exhaustive review of information about the medication. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified medical professional with any questions you may have regarding medications or medical conditions. Never delay seeking professional medical advice or disregard medical professional advice as a result of any information provided herein. The American Association of Psychiatric Pharmacists disclaims any and all liability alleged as a result of the information provided herein.
©2024 The American Association of Psychiatric Pharmacists (AAPP). AAPP makes this document available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Last Updated: January 2016.