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What condition is Ingrezza used to treat?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Aug 24, 2023.

Official answer


Key Points

Ingrezza (valbenazine) capsules are approved for the treatment of adults with tardive dyskinesia and for adults with chorea associated with Huntington's disease (HD), two types of involuntary movement disorders. Ingrezza is a highly selective vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) inhibitor.

Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is characterized by abnormal and repetitive movements of the trunk, extremities or face.

  • TD is caused by dopamine (a chemical messenger) blockade in the brain which can occur with longer-term antipsychotic treatment. Ingrezza was the first product approved for adults with TD.
  • TD can cause repetitive movements in your body that you cannot control. These areas can include your arms, hands, legs, feet, face, lips, eyes or tongue. The face is the most common area where these uncontrollable movements occur.

Huntington's disease (HD) is a hereditary disorder which causes cells in the brain to die. This leads to trouble with movement, thinking and emotions.

  • Most people also have chorea associated with Huntington's disease, a movement disorder that results in irregular and unpredictable movements.
  • Chorea can affect walking, swallowing and speech. Symptoms generally appear in people between 30 to 50 years of age and worsen over a 10 to 25 year period.
  • Ingrezza does not treat other symptoms of Huntington’s disease, such as problems with thinking or emotions.

How often do you take Ingrezza?

Ingrezza is a once daily oral medicine you take by mouth. Ingrezza comes as a 40 mg and 80 mg capsule. It can be taken with or without food. Take Ingrezza exactly when your doctor tells you to take it.

Your doctor will tell you how much Ingrezza to take and when to take it. Your dose will be slowly increased to help lessen side effects and evaluate your response. Do not stop taking this medicine without first speaking to your doctor.

It is not known if Ingrezza is safe and effective for use in children.

Related: Ingrezza dosing (in more detail)

Is Ingrezza an antipsychotic agent?

No, Ingrezza is not an antipsychotic agent. It is a VMAT2 inhibitor (vesicular monoamine transporter-2 inhibitor).

It works by blocking VMAT2 to slow the uptake of a brain chemical known as dopamine. This helps to reduce the unwanted body movements of tardive dyskinesia (TD) caused by long-term use of antipsychotics and of chorea associated with Huntington’s disease.

Antipsychotics medicines are often use to treat bipolar disorder, depression or schizophrenia.

  • Their main action is on dopamine receptors, reducing levels of excess dopamine, or they may affect levels of other neurotransmitters.
  • Ingrezza is used to treat certain movement disorder side effects (tardive dyskinesia) that may occur if you have been using antipsychotics for at least 3 months.

This is not all the information you need to know about Ingrezza (valbenazine) for safe and effective use. Review the full Ingrezza information here, and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.


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