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FDA approves new Parkinson’s psychosis drug

The Michael J Fox Foundation (MJFF) reports today that Nuplazid has become the first medication approved for Parkinson’s psychosis (hallucinations and delusions).

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. MJFF did not fund the development of Nuplazid, though the Foundation has granted Acadia for studies into a disease-modifying therapy.

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