Valbenazine is a selective VMAT2 inhibitor that the FDA approved in April 2017 for the specific treatment of tardive dyskinesia (TD), a movement disorder commonly caused by dopamine blocking agents. Valbenazine acts to decrease dopamine release, reducing excessive movement found in TD. Areas covered: This drug profile reviews the development of valbenazine and the clinical trials that led to its approval as the first treatment specific to TD. The literature search was performed with the PubMed online database. Expert commentary: Two clinical trials assessing the efficacy of valbenazine have shown the reduction of antipsychotic-induced involuntary movement. No life threatening adverse effects were found. Data from a 42-week extension study demonstrated sustained response.
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