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Side Effects of
Monoamine Depleters

FIND A PHARMACIST WHO OFFERS GENETIC TESTING FOR Monoamine Depleters

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Description: Monoamine depleters include the medications reserpine and tetrabenazine. These drugs function by preventing monoamines (a category of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals in the body that enable nerve cells to communicate with each other) such as dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and antihistamine from reentering nerve cells after they have been released. In effect, they deplete monoamine levels in nerve cells, hence the name “monoamine depleter.” Tetrabenazine is primarily used as a treatment for Huntington’s disease and reserpine is no longer used in the United States.

Serious Monoamine Depleter Adverse Reactions

The dose of tetrabenazine must be chosen very carefully because there is a high risk of potentially suffering from adverse reactions. Since tetrabenazine works, in part, by depleting dopamine levels in the brain, it creates many of the same symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease, which is characterized by death and dysfunction of dopamine neurons in the brain.

The most serious monoamine depleter side effects include:

  • Akathisia (agitation and restlessness without an external cause)
  • Parkinsonism (tremor, muscle stiffness or rigidity, lack of movement, difficulty standing)
  • Suicide ideation
  • Common Side Effecst of Monoamine Depleters

    The most common monoamine depleter side effects are closely related to the dose of the drug. In other words, the higher the level of tetrabenazine in the body, the greater the risk of a side effect.

    Common side effects include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Sedation
  • Understand Your Risk for Side Effects with the Rxight® Genetic Test

    MD Labs offers Rxight® pharmacogenetic testing, the most comprehensive DNA test for medications that is available on the market. Genetic testing provides patients with a completely personalized assessment of their genotype and specifically their genetically modulated ability to metabolize monoamine depleters along with hundreds of clinically relevant OTC and prescription medications across dozens of medication classes. If you are considering starting tetrabenazine talk to your doctor about CYP2D6 genotype testing with Rxight® to avoid adverse reactions or treatment inefficacy. That way, you can avoid the potentially protracted and delerious trial-and-error approach that would otherwise be used to find an optimal and safe dose tailored to your unique genotype.

    How Does Pharmacogenetic Testing Work?

    Individual variations within genes that encode for drug metabolism account for differences in the way your body will react to a medication. For example: A CYP2D6 genotype is a person’s individual version of the gene that codes for the cytochrome P450 enzyme 2D6. Depending on a person’s individual CYP2D6 genotype, the activity of that enzyme may be classified as ultrarapid, extensive, intermediate, or poor. The difference between the effective dose and the dose that causes monoamine depleter side effects is very small.

    Contributors to this Article: Michael Sapko, MD, PhD; Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry

    Monoamine Depleters Tested Include:

    • Tetrabenazine (Xenazine)

    Read more about Rxight® Genetic Testing For Depression Medication