Requip XL is a medication approved for treating Parkinson's disease. As a type of dopamine agonist, this prescription medicine acts like a naturally occurring brain chemical (dopamine) and helps prevent a dopamine deficiency. It is thought that a dopamine deficiency may cause several symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Requip XL comes in tablet form and is only taken once a day. Possible side effects include nausea, dizziness, and drowsiness.
Requip XL belongs to a group of medications known as dopamine agonists. This means that it works much like dopamine, a naturally occurring brain chemical. It binds to dopamine receptors and stimulates them, much like natural dopamine would.
Dopamine deficiency (caused by a loss of dopamine-producing cells) in certain parts of the brain may be responsible for many of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Therefore, using a medication that acts like dopamine, such as Requip XL, can help to relieve many of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Although it would make sense to just use dopamine to treat Parkinson's disease, this does not work because dopamine cannot cross the blood-brain barrier to reach the brain. Requip XL acts much like dopamine and is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, making it an ideal Parkinson's medication.
Studies have shown that Requip XL can help treat both early and advanced forms of Parkinson's disease. This medication was studied in people with early Parkinson's disease who were not yet taking levodopa (one of the most commonly used medications for Parkinson's) and in people with advanced Parkinson's disease who had been taking levodopa for quite some time. In both cases, Requip XL helped improve the symptoms of Parkinson's.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Requip XL [package insert]. Research Triangle Park, NC: GlaxoSmithKline;2008 June.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed June 15, 2012.
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