Assembling your HD chorea care team1

Ask your primary care doctor and/or neurologist to refer you to other healthcare professionals who can help manage the various symptoms of Huntington’s disease. A strong healthcare support network for HD may include a:

  • Physical therapist to assist in improving strength, mobility, balance, and function.
  • Occupational therapist to suggest methods that may improve your ability to perform everyday tasks.
  • Speech pathologist to address difficulties with speaking and communication.
  • Nutritionist or dietician to assist with diet, fluctuations in weight, and swallowing problems.
  • Psychiatrist or psychologist who can treat mental health conditions associated with HD, such as depression.
  • Therapist or counselor who can help everyone in your HD family manage stress and intense emotions.

Making your home HD chorea friendly

People with HD chorea may have difficulty with everyday activities such as eating, taking a drink, dressing themselves, and maintaining personal hygiene. Small adjustments throughout the home can improve safety and help lessen the impact HD chorea has on day-to-day tasks.1,2

In the kitchen

In the kitchen1:

  • Use durable plates, bowls, and non-stemmed glassware.
  • Use utensils with large handles.
  • Use non-skid placemats to prevent dishes from moving.
In the bathroom

In the bathroom1,3:

  • Place a non-skid mat in the shower or bathtub.
  • Get a chair or bench for use in the shower.
  • Consider using an electronic toothbrush.
  • Install safety bars in the shower and by the toilet.
  • Avoid using bar soap as it’s slippery and easy to drop.
in the living room and bedroom

In the living room and bedroom1,4:

  • Remove rugs or thick carpets to avoid tripping.
  • Ensure chairs have armrests and high backs.
  • Eliminate unnecessary furniture and ensure rooms are well-lit.

Tips for healthy eating

The involuntary movements of HD chorea burn a considerable amount of calories—patients may struggle to maintain a healthy weight. Incorporating nutrient-rich, calorie-dense foods may be beneficial to those with HD chorea.5

Add healthy fats

Avocados, nut butters such as peanut, almond, or cashew, and sesame tahini make great additions to any meal. Walnut, flax seed, avocado, and olive oils are also sources of healthy fats.5

Choose colorful foods 5,6:

Red Fruits Red Fruits

Red fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, watermelon, and pink grapefruit contain heart-healthy lycopene that may reduce inflammation.

Purple Fruits Purple Fruits

Purple fruits such as blackberries, grapes, and prunes contain anthocyanin, an antioxidant that supports heart health.

Orange Foods Orange Foods

Orange foods such as carrots, mangoes, and sweet potatoes are rich in carotenoids, which support immunity.

Green Vegetables Green Vegetables

Green vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprouts contain isothiocyanates, which boost liver function.

Create a healthy eating environment

Schedule mealtimes, keep conversations simple, and remove distractions such as the TV or radio. Allow plenty of time for those with HD chorea to finish their meals.5

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Approved Uses

AUSTEDO® is a prescription medicine that is used to treat:

  • the involuntary movements (chorea) of Huntington’s disease. AUSTEDO® does not cure the cause of the involuntary movements, and it does not treat other symptoms of Huntington’s disease, such as problems with thinking or emotions.
  • movements in the face, tongue, or other body parts that cannot be controlled (tardive dyskinesia).

It is not known if AUSTEDO® is safe and effective in children.

Important Safety Information

AUSTEDO® can cause serious side effects in people with Huntington’s disease, including: depression, suicidal thoughts, or suicidal actions.
Do not start taking AUSTEDO® if you are depressed (have untreated depression or depression that is not well controlled by medicine) or have suicidal thoughts. Pay close attention to any changes, especially sudden changes, in mood, behaviors, thoughts or feelings. This is especially important when AUSTEDO® is started and when the dose is changed. Call your healthcare provider right away if you become depressed, have unusual changes in mood or behavior, or have thoughts of suicide.

Do not take AUSTEDO® if you:

  • have Huntington’s disease and are depressed or have thoughts of suicide.
  • have liver problems.
  • are taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) medicine. Do not take an MAOI within 14 days after you stop taking AUSTEDO®. Do not start AUSTEDO® if you stopped taking an MAOI in the last 14 days. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are not sure.
  • are taking reserpine. Do not take medicines that contain reserpine (such as Serpalan® and Renese®-R) with AUSTEDO®. If your healthcare provider plans to switch you from taking reserpine to AUSTEDO®, you must wait at least 20 days after your last dose of reserpine before you start taking AUSTEDO®.
  • are taking tetrabenazine (Xenazine®). If your healthcare provider plans to switch you from tetrabenazine (Xenazine®) to AUSTEDO®, take your first dose of AUSTEDO® on the day after your last dose of tetrabenazine (Xenazine®).
  • are taking valbenazine (Ingrezza®).

Other possible serious side effects include:

  • Irregular heartbeat (QT prolongation). AUSTEDO® increases your chance of having certain changes in the electrical activity in your heart. These changes can lead to a dangerous abnormal heartbeat. Taking AUSTEDO® with certain medicines may increase this chance. If you are at risk of QT prolongation, your healthcare provider should check your heart before and after increasing your AUSTEDO® dose above 24 mg a day.
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome. Call your healthcare provider right away and go to the nearest emergency room if you develop these signs and symptoms that do not have another obvious cause: high fever, stiff muscles, problems thinking, very fast or uneven heartbeat, or increased sweating.
  • Restlessness. You may get a condition where you feel a strong urge to move. This is called akathisia.
  • Parkinsonism. Symptoms include: slight shaking, body stiffness, trouble moving, trouble keeping your balance, or falls.

Sleepiness (sedation) is a common side effect of AUSTEDO®. While taking AUSTEDO®, do not drive a car or operate dangerous machinery until you know how AUSTEDO® affects you. Drinking alcohol and taking other drugs that may also cause sleepiness while you are taking AUSTEDO® may increase any sleepiness caused by AUSTEDO®.

The most common side effects of AUSTEDO® in people with Huntington’s disease include sleepiness (sedation), diarrhea, tiredness, and dry mouth.

The most common side effects of AUSTEDO® in people with tardive dyskinesia include inflammation of the nose and throat (nasopharyngitis) and problems sleeping (insomnia).

These are not all the possible side effects of AUSTEDO®. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please read the accompanying Medication Guide.

References: 1. A Caregiver's Guide to Huntington's disease. Huntington’s Disease Society of America website. http://hdsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/A-Caregivers-Guide-to-HD.pdf. Published March 2011. Accessed September 23, 2019. 2. Nance M, Paulsen JS, Rosenblatt A, Wheelock V. A physician’s guide to the management of Huntington’s disease. 3rd ed. Huntington’s Disease Society of America website. http://hdsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/PhysiciansGuide_3rd-Edition.pdf. Published 2011. Accessed September 23, 2019. 3. Bathing & Grooming. Parkinson’s Foundation website. https://www.parkinson.org/Living-with-Parkinsons/Managing-Parkinsons/Activities-of-Daily-Living/Bathing-and-Grooming. Accessed September 23, 2019. 4. Home Safety. Parkinson’s Foundation website. https://www.parkinson.org/Living-with-Parkinsons/Managing-Parkinsons/Activities-of-Daily-Living/Home-Safety. Accessed September 23, 2019. 5. Nutrition and Huntington’s Disease: A Guide for Families. Huntington’s Disease Society of America website. http://hdsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Nutrition-and-HD.pdf. Published 2010. Accessed September 23, 2019. 6. Shaeffer J. Color me healthy—eating for a rainbow of benefits. Today’s Dietitian website. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/110308p34.shtml. Published November 2008. Accessed September 23, 2019.