To help treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, a healthcare provider may prescribe Neupro. This prescription skin patch is also approved to help treat restless legs syndrome (RLS). It is applied once daily. Although most people tolerate this medicine well, side effects are possible and may include nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness.
What Is Neupro?Neupro® (rotigotine) is a prescription medication approved to treat Parkinson's disease and restless legs syndrome (RLS). It comes in the form of a skin patch that is applied just once a day.
Neupro was unavailable in the United States for a few years starting in 2008 due to problems manufacturing the patches. They were unavailable until 2012, when the patches were reformulated.
How Does Neupro Work?Neupro 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, which is 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. By using a medication that acts like dopamine, such as Neupro, some of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease may be relieved. Although it would make sense to give dopamine itself to treat Parkinson's disease, this does not work because dopamine cannot cross the blood-brain barrier to reach the brain. Neupro acts much like dopamine and is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, making it an ideal Parkinson's medication.
It is not exactly clear how Neupro works for treating RLS, although it is thought that the drug's effectiveness for treating RLS is due to its dopamine-agonist properties.