The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Neupro in July 2007 to treat people with early-stage Parkinson’s disease. This indication was later extended, in April 2012, to include treatment of those with advanced disease. Neupro was the first patch formulation available for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease in the U.S.
Animal studies suggest Neupro may be harmful to a developing fetus, but its effects on pregnant patients remain unknown due to a lack of clinical data. Consequently, the safety of Neupro during pregnancy is uncertain. Patients are advised to consult their healthcare provider if they intend to become pregnant while using Neupro.
Patients taking Neupro may experience extreme drowsiness or sudden episodes of falling asleep during daily activities. It is important for those starting the treatment to avoid driving or engaging in potentially dangerous activities until they understand how the medication affects them. If patients experience increased sleepiness or fall asleep without warning they are advised to contact their healthcare team.
Finding the right dose that effectively manages symptoms may take a few weeks, as dosages need to be adjusted for each individual patient. However, in the trials that supported Neupro’s approval, improvements in patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease were evident as early as the first week of treatment. Patients should speak with their healthcare team to understand how the medication could help in their particular case.
Treatment with Neupro has been associated with weight gain, which can be due to fluid retention and also can be associated with binge eating. While Neupro treatment has not been directly associated with hair loss, this side effect has been observed upon using certain dopamine agonists. Patients should talk with their healthcare team if they experience any unanticipated effects of treatment.