Monday, October 14, 2013

Details About The Neupro Patch For Parkinson'S Disease

Parkinson's disease is a motor system disorder that affects the nervous system. It is a chronic condition that causes the loss of brain cells that are responsible for muscle movement. Symptoms of this condition include trembling in the hands, arms, legs and face; stiffness in the legs and arms; a lack of balance and coordination; difficulty in walking and talking; depression; and trouble with eating. According to the National Parkinson Foundation, about 1.5 million people have Parkinson's disease, with about 60,000 new cases being diagnosed each year.


One of the treatments for the early stages of Parkinson's disease is the Neupro patch, or the rotigotine transdermal system. This was the first patch that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of Parkinson's disease, in May 2007. It was manufactured by Schwartz Bioscience, a company in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. The patch sends the drug rotigotine through the skin and activates dopamine receptors in the body. It needs to be replaced every 24 hours.

Side Effects

The Neupro patch does not come without side affects to the patients who use it. They are likely to experience dizziness, nausea, insomnia, vomiting and drowsiness while taking the medication. With dopamine medications, these symptoms are fairly common, but some people using the patch may experience other symptoms that are cause for concern. Those who experience a decrease in blood pressure, sleepiness and hallucinations should consult their doctor on whether to keep taking this medication. The Neupro patch contains sodium metabisulfite, which means that it may cause allergic reactions for those who have asthma.


The patch was developed because some of the drugs that were being used for Parkinson's disease, such as Levodopa, were allegedly causing patients to continue to have motor problems. According to Bruce Sylvester's article "New drug poised for Parkinson's disease," a trial involving 341 patients showed that patients who were given doses of rotigotine experienced fewer issues with their motor skills than did those on Levodopa.


The most common treatment for Parkison's disease has been Levodopa combined with Carbidopa. Levadopa is a drug that is used by brain cells to make dopamine. This drug is necessary because dopamine cannot pass through blood vessels that make up a barrier between the blood and brain. Carbidopa has been used in conjunction with Levodopa because it can delay the process of turning the other drug into dopamine and can reduce some of the side effects associated with Levodopa.


UCB, a Belgian corporation, and Schwarz Pharma, a company in Germany, are responsible for the development of the Neupro Patch. The company first applied for approval from the FDA and the European Medicines Association in 2004 but was turned down by the FDA before it reapplied in 2005. It conducted 15 clinical trials with 1,500 patients in 2003. The drug was not commercially available to U.S. patients until May 2007, but it was available in 14 European countries in March 2006.

Recall of 2008

In March 2008, UCB and Schwarz Pharma recalled the patches in the United States and parts of Europe because they weren't sure that the patch was working correctly and releasing the drugs into the skin, according to an article on They were found to have crystal formations on the patches, said Todd Neale in his article "Rotigotine (Neupro) Patch for Parkinson's Withdrawn from Market" on Medpage Today. This meant that in April 2008, the patches were out of stock in U.S. pharmacies. This meant that patients needed to be gradually taken off the drug because those who have been taken off Parkinson's disease therapies too quickly have experienced complications similar to neuroleptic malignant syndrome or akinetic crises. Some patches can still be used. Those with large snowflake patterns should not be used and should be returned. For instructions on return them, call (800) 477-7877 and select option nine.

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