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US FDA approves Schwarz Pharma Parkinson's patch

WASHINGTON, May 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday it had approved a new patch that treats Parkinson’s disease symptoms.

The patch, called Neupro, is made by German drugs firm Schwarz Pharma SRZG.DE and delivers a new drug.

“Neupro is the first transdermal patch approved for the treatment of symptoms of Parkinson’s disease,” the FDA said in a statement. The patch delivers a drug called rotigotine to treat the fatal and incurable brain disease.

Rotigotine is similar to other drugs used to treat Parkinson’s -- it is a so-called dopamine agonist, which provides more dopamine, a message-carrying chemical, to the brain.

Parkinson’s is caused when dopamine-producing cells are mistakenly destroyed in the brain. It is marked by worsening tremors and paralysis.

There is no cure and all treatments eventually stop working.

The Neupro patch is replaced every 24 hours and provides a continuous dose of the drug.

“The most common side effects for Neupro included skin reactions at the patch site, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness and insomnia, most of which are typical of this class of drugs,” the FDA said.

According to the Parkinson’s Action Network, more than one million Americans have Parkinson’s disease and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

((Reporting by Maggie Fox; Maggie.Fox.Reuters.com@reuters.net;Washington Newsroom 202-898-8300)) Keywords: PARKINSONS PATCH

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