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How I Partner With My Doctor To Manage My Tardive Dyskinesia (TD)

Bethany was compensated by Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. to share her story.

Taking certain mental health medicines (antipsychotics) for a while can cause abnormal dopamine signaling in the brain, which can lead to uncontrollable body movements called TD. Bethany shares the story of her TD diagnosis and treatment and how important her relationship with her psychiatrist has been to her journey.

My Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) Diagnosis

I just couldn’t believe I had TD. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia 10 years prior and had been taking mental health medicines (antipsychotics) for several years when I first started experiencing uncontrollable movements in my lips and face. I kept smacking my lips, licking my teeth, and moving my mouth like I was chewing gum, even though I wasn’t. Needless to say, I found these uncontrollable movements really disturbing, and I started getting awkward and self-conscious about them even with my family and friends.

I had done a lot of research about mental health and antipsychotics, so I knew about TD. But the examples I saw in videos and read about looked so extreme more so than what I thought was happening to me. Because I had been taking antipsychotics for so long and my uncontrollable movements didn’t seem extreme enough to me, I didn’t recognize that I had TD. 

The first person to notice my TD movements was my psychiatrist, who has a lot of experience diagnosing and treating TD. My psychiatrist told me that sometimes a TD diagnosis takes patient self-advocacy and a few visits, but my movements were so apparent to him that he was able to diagnose my TD quickly. 

Working With My Psychiatrist 

I first met my psychiatrist over a decade ago, a year after I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. I was struggling. When I was first diagnosed, I was told by another doctor that I was permanently and totally disabled from schizophrenia. Then I met my psychiatrist. He took the time to listen to me and helped me find an antipsychotic treatment regimen that worked for me.

My psychiatrist and I are in frequent contact, and I’m never afraid to talk to him about anything. I think of him as a partner in my mental health journey and we talk about and make decisions about my treatment together. After researching and talking together about INGREZZA® (valbenazine) capsules, I knew that it was the right choice for me to try for my TD. 

INGREZZA® (valbenazine) capsules is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with movements in the face, tongue, or other body parts that cannot be controlled (tardive dyskinesia). My psychiatrist told me that the most common side effect is sleepiness. 

Please see Important Safety Information below

It can be a little intimidating to start a new medication, but learning and talking about INGREZZA with my psychiatrist put my mind at ease. It was important to me that, with INGREZZA, I could treat my TD without disrupting the progress I’d made treating my schizophrenia, as I had fully recovered and returned nearly to my baseline.

I started seeing improvements in my movements just a few weeks after starting INGREZZA. Because I was no longer preoccupied with the movements in my face, I became much more confident socially and professionally. I had hoped for a reduction in my movements, and it really encouraged me when that happened. I also have peace of mind knowing that I can talk about any changes I’m experiencing with my psychiatrist and that he is my advocate and ally.

This is just my experience, others may have a different experience with INGREZZA.

Finding Your Specialist

In my experience, finding a good psychiatrist or other specialist to work with is really important in managing TD. I’ve had other mental healthcare providers who I didn’t have as good a working relationship with as I do with my current doctor, so I understand that it can take time to find a doctor you feel comfortable confiding in about the physical and emotional aspects of mental healthcare and TD. 

Finding a doctor with experience diagnosing and treating TD with whom I have a great working relationship has been my key to managing my TD.

Learn more about INGREZZA and find a specialist near you with experience diagnosing and treating TD.

Important Information

Approved Use

INGREZZA® (valbenazine) capsules is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with movements in the face, tongue, or other body parts that cannot be controlled (tardive dyskinesia).

It is not known if INGREZZA is safe and effective in children.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Do not take INGREZZA if you:

  • are allergic to valbenazine, or any of the ingredients in INGREZZA.

INGREZZA may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Sleepiness (somnolence). Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how INGREZZA affects you.
  • Heart rhythm problems (QT prolongation). INGREZZA may cause a heart problem known as QT prolongation.

Symptoms of QT prolongation may include:

  • fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • dizziness or fainting
  • shortness of breath

Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have a change in your
heartbeat (a fast or irregular heartbeat), or if you faint.

  • Abnormal movements (Parkinson-like). Symptoms include: shaking, body stiffness, trouble moving or walking, or keeping your balance.

Before taking INGREZZA, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions including if you: have liver or heart problems, are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

The most common side effect of INGREZZA is sleepiness (somnolence). Other side effects include changes in balance (balance problems, dizziness) or an increased risk of falls, headache, feelings of restlessness, dry mouth, constipation, and blurred vision.

These are not all of the possible side effects of INGREZZA. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit MedWatch at www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see accompanying INGREZZA full Product Information

The following promotional article is sponsored by Neurocrine Biosciences

CP-VBZ-US-1955 06/2022