Neupro patches were approved by the FDA for Parkinson’s disease treatment in September 2007. They proved to be very effective in the control of Parkinson symptoms, as compared to the effects of other dopamine agonists including Mirapex and Requip. Unfortunately, in March, the FDA recalled Neupro due to problem with the patch delivery of the medications. What they found posed no imminent danger to patients. Rather what was happening was that the active drug, rotigotine, was crystallizing in the patch therefore not delivering the full dosage of medication to the patient. What would happen is that affected patients’ Parkinson symptoms would not be as well controlled. It is not clear if Neupro patches will be brought back to market as reported on Emaxhealth.
Dopamine agonists remain one of the main Parkinson treatment medication groups available to control Parkinson symptoms. These can be used as first line medications for early Parkinson’s disease, showing as good as an effect as Sinemet – the gold standard for treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Many feel that it is beneficial and studies have shown that starting early treatment with dopamine agonists can limit the long term side effects of starting Sinemet early. This is particularly true for delaying development of dyskinesia, which are involuntary movements of arms, legs and head. Dopamine agonists can also help to suppress tremor associated with Parkinson disease.
If you are still using Neupro patches, you should contact your treating neurologist or Parkinson specialist to get the weaning patches and titrate off this drug. Many other excellent treatments for Parkinson’s disease are available. For more information visit: Parkinson Doctor.