Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a common side-effect experienced by persons with schizophrenia who are treated with atypical antipsychotics — a side-effect that is stigmatizing and can result in non-adherence — but treatment with valbenazine can effectively control TD in some patients.

In a poster presented at Psych Congress 2019, Craig Chepke, MD, of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Charlotte, and colleagues, noted that in a 6-week trial, the benefit of valbenazine was greatest at 80 mg daily, but importantly, “treatment with valbenazine 40 mg also showed greater improvement in [Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale] compared to placebo.”

Three long-term studies investigated the durability of response at 72 weeks, but those studies had fewer patients at the 40 mg dose, so Chepke et al pooled findings from all participants at the 40 mg dose (including those who were reduced from 80 mg to 40 mg) to assess durability of response. They found that “40 mg may be an effective long-term option for some TD patients, and dose reduction from 80 to 40 mg did not appear to compromise long-term benefit.”