Hallucinations or delusions can occur in up to half of patients with Parkinson's, a neurological disease that occurs when dopamine-producing cells in the brain become impaired, according to the FDA. Symptoms include shaking (tremors), sleep disruptions and trouble with movement, among other symptoms.
After Nuplazid appeared more effective than a placebo in a six-week trial of 199 patients, the FDA gave the drug approval. Patients taking Nuplazid saw a decrease in the frequency and/or severity of hallucinations and delusions. Patients did not experience worsening of their primary motor symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Nuplazid, which is marketed by Acadia Pharmaceuticals, carries a boxed warning that notes that atypical antipsychotic medications like Nuplazid can increase the risk of death when used to treat older patients with dementia-related psychosis — something for which Nuplazid is not approved.
A confused state, swelling and nausea were among the side effects reported with Nuplazid use.