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Does Nuplazid treat Parkinson's disease?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on March 13, 2023.

Official answer


Nuplazid (generic name: pimavanserin) was approved for the treatment of psychosis (hallucinations and delusions) associated with Parkinson’s disease. Nuplazid does not treat the typical motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease, such as tremors or shuffling gait.

Hallucinations or delusions can occur in up to one-half of patients with Parkinson’s disease. In clinical studies of 199 participants, Nuplazid was shown to be superior to placebo in decreasing the frequency and/or severity of hallucinations and delusions without worsening the primary motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

What drug class is Nuplazid?

Nuplazid is a non-dopaminergic, selective serotonin inverse agonist (SSIA) atypical antipsychotic with no measurable activity at dopaminergic receptors, unlike many other antipsychotics.

  • However, as with other antipsychotics, Nuplazid is NOT approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis unrelated to the hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease psychosis due to an increased risk of death.
  • Nuplazid carries a Boxed Warning for this risk, as does other antipsychotics.

Common side effects (occurring in at least 5% of patients) with Nuplazid include: swelling (peripheral edema) and confusion. Other side effects are: nausea, constipation, gait disturbance and hallucinations.

Nuplazid can also lead to QT interval prolongation, which is a serious rhythm disorder of the heart.

Related: Nuplazid side effects (in more detail)

This is not all the information you need to know about Nuplazid (pimavanserin) for safe and effective use and does not take the place of talking to your doctor about your treatment. Review the full Nuplazid information here, and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.


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