A study of chorea after tetrabenazine withdrawal in patients with Huntington disease

Samuel Frank, William G. Ondo, Stanley Fahn, Christine Hunter, David Oakes, Sandra Plumb, Frederick Marshall, Ira Shoulson, Shirley Eberly, Francis Walker, Stewart Factor, Vicki Hunt, Aileen Shinaman, Joseph Jankovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To assess tetrabenazine (TBZ) efficacy by evaluating the change in Huntington disease-associated chorea resulting from TBZ treatment withdrawal. METHODS: Thirty patients treated in the long term were randomized to 1 of 3 groups assigned to withdraw from TBZ in a double-blind, staggered fashion during a 5-day period. RESULTS: The chorea scores of subjects withdrawn from TBZ treatment increased by 5.3 units from days 1 to 3, whereas the scores of the group with partial or no withdrawal of TBZ treatment increased by 3.0 units (P = 0.0773). A post hoc analysis of the linear trend was positive for reemergent chorea (P = 0.0486). No serious adverse events were reported after abrupt withdrawal of TBZ treatment. CONCLUSIONS: The trend for reemergence of chorea in patients with Huntington disease who were withdrawn from TBZ treatment is consistent with the findings from previous studies, thus showing the effectiveness of TBZ in reducing chorea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Neuropharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Chorea
  • Huntington disease
  • Tetrabenazine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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