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One man shares his journey from diagnosis to finding a treatment for tardive dyskinesia

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(BPT) - This article was sponsored and developed by Neurocrine Biosciences.

As we’ve been living through this global pandemic for more than a year, we’ve seen an uptick in people experiencing mental health challenges. Research from the KFF Health Tracking Poll has shown that stress and worry related to the pandemic have had a negative impact on mental health, taking an emotional toll on 53% of adults in the U.S.

Some people living with a mental health condition may experience other associated conditions, like tardive dyskinesia (TD), an involuntary movement disorder that may develop after a few months of taking certain medications to treat bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression and anxiety.

Steve, a Fort Worth, Texas, native and happily married father of five, is one of the one in five adults in the U.S. who lives with a mental health condition. In his early 30s, he started noticing bipolar disorder symptoms and found he was withdrawing from society, while also struggling with substance abuse.

Steve was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety. He sought treatment and was prescribed a variety of medications, which helped manage his mental health conditions. But about four years ago, his wife noticed his involuntary facial movements.

Steve said: “My wife would say, ‘Why do you do that with your mouth?'” But Steve wasn’t aware of these movements. So, what was happening?

TD is a real, chronic condition that affects approximately 600,000 people in the U.S. The uncontrollable movements of TD may be disruptive to people's lives due to the symptoms themselves and the impact they have on emotional and social well-being.

After being shown a video of himself singing karaoke, Steve realized just how pronounced his involuntary facial movements were.

“This is when it hit me that my mouth movements did not look normal,” said Steve. “I was ashamed about how my mouth was moving. The symptoms really ruined my self-esteem and confidence for a while.”

Steve previously heard about TD and thought his symptoms might fit the condition, so he made an appointment with his psychiatrist, who confirmed the diagnosis.

He asked his psychiatrist about INGREZZA® (valbenazine) capsules, a prescription medicine to treat adults with the uncontrollable movements of TD, as a potential treatment option. After talking with his doctor and reviewing the benefits and side effects, including the most common side effect of sleepiness, they decided INGREZZA, a simple one capsule, once-daily treatment regimen, was a good choice for him. After taking INGREZZA, he was happy to see the medication was working for him.

Steve shares his story because he believes there should no longer be a stigma attached to talking about mental health and that there are treatment options available for those with TD.

Steve’s reduction in movements following treatment helped him emotionally and physically. “My confidence is much better,” said Steve. “I smile more. I feel that I look better.” Now that Steve is able to treat his TD, he is passionate about raising awareness of the condition and letting patients know that, with help, they can manage their uncontrollable movements.

To learn more about TD and INGREZZA, talk to your doctor or visit INGREZZA.com for more safety information.

See Important Safety Information Below

Important Information

Approved Use

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:
  • fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness or fainting

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. Steve was compensated by Neurocrine Biosciences to share his story.

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