Neupro side effects and how to avoid them
Neupro is a brand-name medication manufactured by UCB, Inc. It is classified as a non-ergoline dopamine agonist and is used for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease. While Neupro is generally well tolerated, there are some potential side effects that people should be aware of. The most common side effects of Neupro include problems with sleep. Less common but more serious side effects can consist of severe allergic reactions.
Learn more about the side effects of Neupro and what you can do to avoid them.
What is Neupro (rotigotine)?
Neupro contains the prescription medicine rotigotine, classed as a non-ergoline dopamine agonist. Rotigotine has a similar effect to dopamine, which is found naturally in your body.
Neupro patches are used for the treatment of:
- Parkinson’s disease – a disease of the nervous system that can get worse over time. Symptoms of Parkinson’s include muscle stiffness, shaky or slow movement, with poor muscle control. It is thought to be linked to reduced amounts of dopamine in the brain.
- Restless legs syndrome – symptoms are a twitching sensation in the leg muscles when sitting or lying down, once again linked to low levels of dopamine in the brain.
What does Neupro do for Parkinson’s?
Rotigotine is classed as a non-ergoline dopamine agonist. Dopamine agonists work by imitating the action of dopamine in the brain by binding to dopamine receptors that help to control the body’s ability to move properly.
Exactly how rotigotine works in the body for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease or restless legs syndrome is not fully understood. However, it is thought to be linked to rotigotine’s capacity to stimulate the dopamine receptors in the brain.
Is Neupro patch a narcotic?
Neupro is not a narcotic or a controlled substance. It is a dopamine agonist that works by stimulating dopamine receptors in your brain.
Neupro is available as a transdermal system patch: 1 mg/24 hrs, 2 mg/24 hrs, 3 mg/24 hrs, 4 mg/24 hrs, 6 mg/24 hrs, and 8 mg/24 hrs of rotigotine.
Neupro transdermal patches should be applied to clean, dry, hairless, and free of skin irritation patches of skin, where it will not be rubbed by tight clothing, on your stomach, thigh, hip, shoulder, or upper arm. The patch should be replaced with a new one every 24 hours. The new patch should be placed in a different place on your body. The same area of skin should not be used twice within 14 days.
Store patches at room temperature, away from moisture, heat, and direct light when showering or bathing. Apply a new patch if it falls off. If you miss a dose, apply a new patch as soon as you remember and replace the next patch at your usual time the next day, even if 24 hours have not passed.
You are advised to read the medication guide provided with this medicine for the drug information and patient information, and always speak with your healthcare provider for medical advice about any changes to your dose so they can monitor and evaluate your condition.
When is the best time to apply a Neupro patch?
Neupro patches may be applied at any time at the same time each day.
How quickly does Neupro work?
Neupro may take up to over 24 hours for your body to absorb the drug fully after your first dose.
Does Neupro cause withdrawal symptoms?
Suddenly stopping Neupro may cause withdrawal symptoms such as depression, anxiety, confusion, muscle stiffness, and fever.
Neupro side effects
The most common possible side effects of Neupro include:
- Application site reactions
- Nausea, vomiting
- Headache, dizziness, problems with vision, feeling drowsy
- Loss of appetite
- Insomnia (sleep disorder where you have trouble sleeping)
- Daytime sleepiness
- Increased sweating
- Rapid weight gain
- Swollen hands or feet due to fluid retention
In rare instances, Neupro can cause more serious side effects. These can include:
- Severe skin reaction that will not go away
- Neupro contains sulfite, which can cause severe allergic reactions. Symptoms include chest pain, swelling of the lips or tongue, or trouble breathing or swallowing
- Increased sexual urges, urges to spend money and binge eating
- New or worsening mental status
- Symptomatic postural and/or orthostatic hypotension
- Increased heart rate
- Feeling lightheaded or faint
- Extreme drowsiness, suddenly falling asleep
- Dyskinesia (problems controlling your muscles)
If you experience any of these serious side effects, stop taking Neupro and seek medical attention immediately. You are encouraged to report the negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Neupro drug interactions
Neupro can interact with other medications, including:
- Dopamine antagonists, such as antipsychotics or metoclopramide
- Tricyclic antidepressants – amisulpride, imipramine, trimipramine
- Anesthetics – ketamine
- Opioid pain relievers – propoxyphene
- Treatment for narcolepsy ( sudden falling asleep) – sodium oxybate
- Treatment for anxiety or muscle spasms – alprazolam, diazepam, lorazepam
- Antidepressants – amitryptiline, citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, venlafaxine
- Treatment for muscle spasms – baclofen
- Anti-convulsants – carbemazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
- Treatments for mental health – clozapine, haloperidol, promazine
- St. Johns wort – a herbal mental health treatment
- Treatment for sleeping problems – zolpidem
Before taking Neupro, be sure to tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking to ensure they are safe to take at the same time.
Neupro warnings & precautions
You should not use Neupro if you:
- Are allergic to the active ingredient rotigotine
- Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Neupro
- Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed – It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk
Talk to your doctor before using Neupro if you:
- Are taking any of the medications that could interact with Neupro
- Have asthma
- Have high or low blood pressure
- Have any heart problems
- Have kidney disease
- Have mental health problems such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or psychosis
- Are wearing heating pads, electric blankets, saunas, heated water beds, and direct sunlight (this may increase the absorption of this medication into your body)
- Are receiving magnetic resonance imaging or cardioversion
- Have any sleeping disorders
- Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
You should always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication, including Neupro, to ensure it is safe for you.
How much does Neupro cost?
Neupro prices will vary depending on where you buy it and how much you buy. As a guide, Neupro extended-release (1 mg/24 hr) transdermal film usually costs $750 for 30 films.
How to avoid Neupro side effects
The best way to avoid side effects is to take Neupro as directed by your doctor. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully, and do not take more or less than prescribed.
If you experience any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to recommend ways to help reduce or prevent some of the side effects.
1. Stick to the recommended dosage
Take your prescribed dose of Neupro recommended by your healthcare professional. Do not take more or less than prescribed.
2. Monitor your blood sugar levels
If you have diabetes, it is important to monitor your blood sugar levels closely while taking Neupro. Check your blood sugar levels as directed by your doctor and report any changes to your doctor immediately.
3. Drink plenty of fluids
Drink eight to 10 glasses of water or fluids every day to help prevent dehydration, which can make side effects worse.
4. Avoid alcohol
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Neupro, as it can increase your risk of drowsiness.
5. Don’t skip meals
Eating regular meals and snacks will help to prevent low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia).
6. Check your feet
If you have diabetes, check your feet for any cuts, sores, or redness regularly. Tell your doctor if you experience any problems with your feet while taking Neupro.
7. Know the signs and symptoms of Neupro side effects
Signs and symptoms of side effects include drowsiness and problems with sleep. If you experience these symptoms, speak to your doctor for medical advice.
8. Monitor your weight
Neupro may cause fluid retention and weight gain. If you experience this side effect while taking Neupro, get medical advice from your doctor.
9. Tell your doctor about all medications you’re taking
Be sure to tell your doctor about all other medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements, as they can interact with Neupro.
10. Get regular medical checkups
It is important to get regular medical checkups and monitor your medical conditions. Your doctor will monitor your condition and may adjust your dose of Neupro as needed.
A medical professional has reviewed this article.