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For those of you on the Parkinson's patch Neupro: Your neurologist will need to adjust your dosage because the drug is being recalled.
The skin patch was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in May 2007 to treat symptoms of early Parkinson's disease. Neupro works by delivering the drug rotigotine continuously through the skin using a silicone-based patch that is replaced every 24 hours. Rotigotine activates dopamine receptors in the body to compensate for the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells in Parkinson's.
The recall was prompted by a manufacturing problem that caused some of the skin patches to contain lower doses of the medication and thus be less effective. The company that makes the drug, UCB, said the recall will mean that Neupro will soon be out of stock. Therefore, if you currently take the drug, your neurologist must lower your dosage and eventually switch you to a similar—but oral—medication. Some of these drugs may be available in liquid form.
Anna DePold Hohler, M.D., assistant professor of neurology at Boston University, said that gradually lowering your dosage of rotigotine should ensure that you don't experience a significant worsening in symptoms.
Eric Miller, a spokesperson for UCB, warned that you should contact your health-care provider to initiate the change in dosage rather than stop taking the drug on your own. Patients with additional questions can contact the manufacturer at 1-800-477-7877 (option 9).