Why I choose INGREZZA® (valbenazine) capsules for my patients

Why I choose INGREZZA® (valbenazine) capsules for my patients

Articles Blog


How do you typically screen for and treat tardive dyskinesia, or TD, in your practice? Before the FDA approved treatments specifically indicated for adults with TD, I used other methods in an attempt to reduce my patients’ abnormal involuntary movements. However, in my experience, they were not an ideal solution and did not adequately relieve their symptoms. These methods included the use of anticholinergics, such as benztropine, and antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine. But today, we have treatment options that can manage or reduce the involuntary movements in adults with TD. My name is Amy LaCouture and I’m a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I work with patients in a diverse urban area who have serious mental health conditions. They are primarily served in a community–based care setting. All of my patients have diagnoses of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and/or major depressive disorder. Many have a history of chronic hospitalizations. As a result of their prolonged exposure to DRBAs such as antipsychotics, I have considerable experience with diagnosing and treating TD. For my adult patients, I recommend once-daily INGREZZA® (valbenazine) capsules. Keep watching to see how INGREZZA reduced the severity of TD in clinical trials. In a clinical trial, INGREZZA provided rapid and continued reductions in TD severity at 6 weeks and through the extension period. INGREZZA was evaluated in a 6-week, phase 3, pivotal, placebo-controlled study. The primary efficacy endpoint was the mean AIMS dyskinesia total score change from baseline. In an INGREZZA clinical trial at 6 weeks, the mean reduction in AIMS score was 3.2. Also, AIMS scores were reduced by at least half in 40 percent of patients. The 6-week study was followed by a double-blind extension period for 42 weeks. The total treatment period was 48 weeks. At 48 weeks, INGREZZA 80 milligrams per day provided a 39 percent reduction in TD severity. Also, TD severity was reduced by at least half in about 50 percent of patients. In clinical trials, INGREZZA was generally well tolerated across a broad range of adult TD patients. The most common adverse reaction is somnolence. This occurred at a rate greater than 5 percent and twice the rate of placebo. Additionally, patients in the clinical trials were allowed to remain on their stable psychiatric treatment regimen. The convenient, once-daily dosing of INGREZZA is manageable for my patients. They can take INGREZZA with or without food, which means that they are not limited by an unpredictable meal schedule. And for me, the dosing schedule, which increases from 40 milligrams to 80 milligrams after one week, is simple. Continuation of 40 milligrams once daily may be considered for some patients. Data have shown that once-daily 80 milligram capsules of INGREZZA provided rapid and significant improvements in TD severity at 6 weeks. Additionally, INGREZZA provided continued reductions in TD severity through 48 weeks. It’s important that we now have an approved and efficacious treatment option for adult patients with TD. INGREZZA has truly changed the way I work with my patients.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *