Authors: Claassen, Daniel O. | Iyer, Ravi G. | Shah-Manek, Bijal | DiBonaventura, Marco | Abler, Victor | Sung, Victor W.
Background: Huntington disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motor impairments (including chorea), along with behavioral, psychiatric, and cognitive symptoms. Tetrabenazine was the first US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatment for chorea related to HD. Objective: To examine pharmacologic treatment patterns among patients using tetrabenazine, including reasons for treatment initiation, non-initiation, dose adjustments, and discontinuation, and to quantify the burden of chorea based on healthcare resource utilization. Methods: In this retrospective patient chart review, neurologists were recruited from the Medefield (http://www.medefield.com ) opt-in panel, and selected ≤5 medical charts based on the criteria provided
…and abstracted data on demographics, disease history, healthcare resource use, and treatment patterns. Results: 138 neurologists participated and 512 HD patient charts were reviewed. Among these patients, 26.4% did not initiate tetrabenazine. Most HD patients (66.5%) received a tetrabenazine dose ≤50 mg. The most common reasons for stopping upward titration were optimal chorea control (55.5%), intolerability of higher doses (31.2%), and reaching the maximum recommended dosage despite suboptimal chorea control (11.4%). Chorea severity and non-persistence to tetrabenazine were associated with increased emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and days hospitalized. Conclusions: Although tetrabenazine was the sole FDA-approved treatment for HD chorea until April 2017, more than one-quarter of respondents never initiated therapy. Tetrabenazine dosing was lower than predicted, and many patients experienced adverse symptoms of intolerability at high doses. New safer and more tolerable treatment options, such as deutetrabenazine, may improve treatment outcomes and reduce healthcare resource use.
Keywords: Huntington disease, chorea, tetrabenazine, retrospective studies, medication persistence
Citation: Journal of Huntington's Disease,
vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 345-353, 2018
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