(BPT) – This article was sponsored and developed by Neurocrine Biosciences.
Each year, millions of Americans are impacted by mental health conditions. Recognized during the first week of October, Mental Illness Awareness Week aims to raise awareness of the 1 in 5 Americans experiencing mental illness each year, dispel common misperceptions, and provide support to all impacted, including people with experience with a mental health condition, care partners, and advocates.
Marilyn, who hails from a small town in Colorado, was diagnosed with postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter nearly 40 years ago. As her condition worsened, she was also diagnosed with anxiety and bipolar disorder.
“I have been to so many primary healthcare providers, neurologists, and psychiatrists for my mental health conditions, and we’ve tried many different medications,” said Marilyn. After taking antipsychotics for six years, Marilyn experienced involuntary movements such as pronounced lip smacking.
Unfortunately, these involuntary movements did not go away and continued to be disruptive nearly two years later. What Marilyn did not know was that the involuntary movements are a condition called tardive dyskinesia (TD).
TD is a real, chronic condition that affects approximately 600,000 people in the U.S. It’s a condition where people taking certain mental health medicines (antipsychotics) experience mild, moderate, or severe uncontrollable movements in different parts of their bodies.
“I was constantly moving uncontrollably and could never keep still. It was especially bad in my face, fingers, and feet,” said Marilyn. “I didn’t want to socialize anymore because I was so self-conscious of my movements.”
Everyday activities like sitting in a car or watching football games with her family were difficult due to her uncontrollable movements in her legs and hands. After speaking with her psychiatrist and then her neurologist about these movements, she was diagnosed with TD.
Marilyn’s doctor shared information with her about INGREZZA® (valbenazine) capsules, a prescription medicine to treat adults with the uncontrollable movements of TD. After reviewing the benefits and side effects, including the most common side effect of sleepiness, together they decided that INGREZZA, a simple one capsule, once-daily treatment, was the choice for her.
Please see additional Important Safety Information below.
After starting INGREZZA, Marilyn saw a reduction in her movements, and therefore was able to return to the activities she enjoyed. “I can now sit in my chair and cheer on my teams,” she said. “It feels good to be able to engage in one of my favorite pastimes again with my family.”
This Mental Illness Awareness Week, Marilyn wants to share her story to help others and encourage those experiencing involuntary movements to talk to their doctor.
“Stories like Marilyn’s highlight how living with a mental health condition and TD is not only debilitating but can have a significant emotional and social impact as well,” said Dr. Leslie Lundt, Executive Medical Director at Neurocrine Biosciences. “Mental Illness Awareness Week is an important time to broaden the conversation around mental health and associated challenges and help those who may be experiencing TD understand there are treatment options to help.”
To learn more about TD and INGREZZA, talk to your doctor or visit INGREZZA.com for more safety information.
INGREZZA® (valbenazine) capsules is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with movements in the face, tongue, or other body parts that cannot be controlled (tardive dyskinesia).
It is not known if INGREZZA is safe and effective in children.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Do not take INGREZZA if you:
- are allergic to valbenazine, or any of the ingredients in INGREZZA.
INGREZZA may cause serious side effects, including:
- Sleepiness (somnolence). Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how INGREZZA affects you.
- Heart rhythm problems (QT prolongation). INGREZZA may cause a heart problem known as QT prolongation.
Symptoms of QT prolongation may include:
Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have a change in your heartbeat (a fast or irregular heartbeat), or if you faint.
- Abnormal movements (Parkinson-like). Symptoms include: shaking, body stiffness, trouble moving or walking, or keeping your balance.
Before taking INGREZZA, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions including if you: have liver or heart problems, are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
The most common side effect of INGREZZA is sleepiness (somnolence). Other side effects include changes in balance (balance problems, dizziness) or an increased risk of falls, headache, feelings of restlessness, dry mouth, constipation, and blurred vision.
These are not all of the possible side effects of INGREZZA. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit MedWatch at www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Please see accompanying INGREZZA full Product Information.
This article was sponsored and developed by Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. Marilyn was compensated by Neurocrine Biosciences to share her story.
©2022 Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. All Rights Reserved. CP-VBZ-US-2126 10/2022