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First Drug for Treatment of Chorea in Huntington’s Disease Approved by FDA

By August 27, 2008

News from the FDA
Each week, Dr. Mike brings you the latest news from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration including alerts, new drug approvals, new drug indications, and first time generic drug approvals.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Xenazine (tetrabenazine) for the treatment of chorea in people with Huntington's disease. Chorea is the jerky, involuntary movement that occurs in people with this disease.

Xenazine is the first medication of any kind approved in the U.S. by the FDA for the treatment of any symptom of Huntington's disease. According to the FDA, "Serious side effects reported with use of Xenazine include depression and suicidal thoughts and actions."

Huntington's disease, which affects about 30,000 people in the U.S., is a rare, inherited neurological disorder that causes degeneration of brain cells. The deterioration of brain cells causes the uncontrolled movements, loss of intellectual powers, and emotional difficulties. Huntington's disease is passed from parent to child and each child of a parent with the disease has a 50% chance of inheriting the condition.

Learn More About Huntington's Disease:

Photo © U.S. Food and Drug Administration

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