The Food and Drug Administration has approved Nuplazid (the compound pimavanserin) from pharmaceutical company Acadia to treat Parkinson’s psychosis.
Psychosis — which may eventually affect more than half of people with Parkinson’s disease — can appear in a variety of ways, including hallucinations (seeing things that aren’t there) and delusions (holding false, typically paranoid, beliefs).
"Nuplazid represents a major medical advancement for patients with Parkinson’s disease psychosis who suffer from hallucinations and delusions,” said Steve Davis, Acadia's president and CEO. “We are grateful to the many patients and investigators who participated in Nuplazid’s clinical studies.”
Previously available psychosis medications worked on both the dopamine and serotonin systems. Parkinson’s medications for motor symptoms also work on the dopamine system, and taking antipsychotics blocked the effect of those drugs. So doctors and patients had to make a trade-off to treat either psychosis or motor symptoms.
Nuplazid, the first medication approved specifically for Parkinson's psychosis, works only on the serotonin system. Clinical trials showed the drug eased psychosis symptoms without worsening motor symptoms.
“Parkinson’s disease psychosis is a debilitating condition that adds a tremendous burden on the lives of patients already contending with motor issues such as slow movement, loss of balance, and muscle rigidity,” said Todd Sherer, PhD, MJFF CEO. “It also places an increased burden on caregivers and can lead to loss of independence and nursing home admittance for patients. A therapy to treat the hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease psychosis without worsening motor symptoms can significantly impact the lives of Parkinson’s patients and their loved ones.”
MJFF did not fund the development of Nuplazid, though the Foundation has granted Acadia for studies into a disease-modifying therapy.
Acadia is committed to helping people with Parkinson’s access this new drug. Talk to your doctor about this therapy and visit www.nuplazid.com or call 844-737-2223 for more information.
Join us May 19 for a webinar on Parkinson’s psychosis and Nuplazid.