Neupro patches were the first transdermal patches found to improve motor functioning and activities of daily living in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Developed by UCB, these patches were approved in 2012 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating the signs and symptoms of early and advanced stage Parkinson’s disease.

How Neupro patches work

Neupro patches work by delivering the dopamine agonist rotigotine through the skin directly into the bloodstream. Rotigotine then stimulates dopamine receptors in the brain, mimicking the action of dopamine, which is found in lower-than-normal levels in the brain of Parkinosn’s disease patients.

Studies involving Neupro patches

There is much evidence indicating the effectiveness and safety of rotigotine in treating Parkinson’s disease. For example, the results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the Archives of Neurology revealed that administering rotigotine in once-daily patches greatly improved symptoms in patients with early Parkinson’s disease.

Similarly, the results of a multicenter, randomized, double-blind study published in Neurology that compared the safety and efficacy of once-daily dopamine administered continuously through a transdermal patch compared to placebo revealed that transdermal rotigotine, when titrated to a dosage of 6 mg over 24 hours, was effective in treating early-stage Parkinson’s disease.

The results of a study published in Clinical Neuropharmacology, which analyzed data from three Phase 3 clinical trials involving rotigotine as an add-on to levodopa in advanced Parkinson’s disease, showed that patients with advanced disease who added Neupro to their medication had less “off” time, or less time spent “with troublesome dyskinesia,” compared to patients taking a placebo. It was also found that patients taking Neupro were more likely to wake-up “on” before taking their morning medication compared to patients who took a placebo.

Side effects associated with the use of Neupro patches in Parkinson’s disease include sleepiness, vomiting, nausea, and dizziness.

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