Nuplazid was approved in 2016 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for visual hallucinations (seeing things that aren't there) and delusions (false, often paranoid, beliefs) due to Parkinson's disease psychosis. In Parkinson's, psychosis may be due to the disease itself or the medications used to treat it.
Nuplazid is an atypical antipsychotic medication that works on the serotonin brain chemical system.
Unlike many other antipsychotic medications, Nuplazid does not affect the dopamine brain chemical pathway. It can therefore ease symptoms of psychosis without worsening Parkinson's motor symptoms. Nuplazid also may help a person sleep better at night and stay more alert during the day, as well as decrease a care partner's stress.
Cons and Complications
The most common side effects of Nuplazid are leg swelling, nausea and confusion. Like all antipsychotic medications, Nuplazid carries a "black box" warning of the potential for increased risk of death in elderly people with dementia (significant memory and/or thinking problems). The potential benefits and risks of all medications need to be carefully weighed. But the potential benefits and risks of not treating symptoms also need to be considered. In some people, untreated psychosis can lead to significant problems for them and their family.