Why Clinicians Should Be Excited About Austedo XR


Rakesh Jain, MD, shares more about the recent approval of Austedo XR for the treatment of tardive dyskinesia and Huntington disease chorea control.

Rakesh Jain


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Teva Pharmaceuticals’ Austedo XR (deutetrabenazine) as a 1 pill, once-daily pill treatment option, available across therapeutic doses (30, 36, 42, 48 mg), indicated in adults for tardive dyskinesia (TD) and Huntington disease (HD) chorea control. To help share more on the approval, Psychiatric Times sat down with Rakesh Jain, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry at the Texas Tech University School of Medicine - Permian Basin.

PT: Why should clinicians be excited about this newly approved treatment option?

Rakesh Jain, MD: Many people with TD and chorea associated with HD are managing other underlying conditions, so it is important that treatment options are not only effective, but also support the larger patient experience.

The FDA approval of Austedo XR as a 1 pill, once-daily option across therapeutic doses, is important because it provide individuals living with these movement conditions with a new option that may help streamline their treatment experience and potentially help them adhere to their treatment regimens—a common challenge for patients that health care professionals often see across a variety of conditions and diseases.

While other treatment options exist, Austedo XR offers more flexibility with the most once-daily doses of any vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) inhibitor for effective and tolerable TD and HD chorea control, providing rapid symptom improvement in as early as 2 weeks. Additionally, Austedo XR can be used alongside CYP3A4/5 inducers or inhibitors with no dose restrictions, so patients can continue treating their mental health conditions, and stay on most mental health medications, while also managing their TD with Austedo XR.

PT: How can effective, convenient treatment like Austedo XR change a patient’s life?

Jain: Currently more than 57 million Americans are living with a mental illness, and 1 in 4 of those taking certain mental health medications (such as antipsychotics) may experience the onset of TD. Despite its estimated prevalence, only approximately 15% of patients are diagnosed with the condition. Alternatively, approximately 30,000 Americans are living with HD, and chorea affects 90% of patients—that is a lot of people.

TD and chorea associated with HD can cause uncontrollable and repetitive movements so debilitating that eating, drinking, and walking can be difficult. These movement conditions can also have a profound psychological, emotional, and social impact on patients—so it is critical to help manage these conditions with effective treatment.

Having a treatment option like Austedo XR that can be taken as 1 pill, once a day (across therapeutic doses) can help improve the patient experience and streamline treatment regimens—helping to improve challenges with medication adherence.

PT: What should clinicians know when integrating Austedo XR into a patient’s treatment regimen?

Jain: Austedo has been an important treatment option for patients since it was first approved in 2017. Today, with this latest approval, we now have a new way to treat with Austedo XR—1 pill, taken once-daily, for therapeutic doses—which can be safely integrated into existing disease management plans, with results expected in as early as 2 weeks and backed by 3 years of the longest TD and HD clinical trials and sustained results to date.

PT: Thank you!

Dr Jain is a clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Texas Tech University School of Medicine – Permian Basin in Midland, Texas, and is in private practice in Austin, Texas.

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