Evaluating depression and suicidality in tetrabenazine users with Huntington disease

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Abstract

Objective

To determine whether tetrabenazine (TBZ) use is associated with an increased incidence of depression and/or suicidal ideation.

Methods

In this retrospective cross-sectional study of the Enroll-HD database, we used multiple logistic regression analyses to determine whether TBZ use is associated with an increased incidence of depression and/or suicidal ideation. For both dependent variables (depression and suicidality), separate analyses were conducted on (1) all participants, (2) only participants with a history of depression, and (3) only participants with no history of depression. Adjustments were made for CAG repeat length, total motor score, total functional capacity, Symbol Digit Modalities Test score, sex, disease duration, history of depression (when applicable), antipsychotic use, and antidepressant use.

Results

Compared to participants who were not using TBZ (n = 3,548), TBZ users (n = 543) did not have an increased risk of depression (odds ratio [OR] = 0.78, p = 0.064). Participants taking TBZ actually had a relatively lower risk of suicidality (OR = 0.61, p = 0.043). Among only participants with a history of depression, those using TBZ had a lower incidence of depression (OR = 0.71, p = 0.016) and suicidal ideation (OR = 0.57, p = 0.028) compared to those not using TBZ. Finally, among only participants with no history of depression, TBZ use was not associated with a higher incidence of depression (OR = 1.59, p = 0.18) or suicidality (OR = 1.43, p = 0.66) compared to those who were not using TBZ.

Conclusions

TBZ use was not associated with an increased incidence of depression or suicidality. These findings suggest that TBZ may be safe to use in patients with Huntington disease who have a history of depression.

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