May 9, 2018

Use of Pimavanserin in Combination With SSRIs Is Safe for Patients With Parkinson’s Disease

By Ed Susman

ORLANDO, Fla -- May 9, 2018 -- Treatment of Parkinson’s disease-related psychosis with pimavanserin (Nuplazid) is safe when used in combination with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), according to a study presented here at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS).

“This combination appears to be well tolerated in patients with Parkinson’s disease,” said James Norton, PhD, Acadia Pharmaceuticals, San Diego, California.

When the researchers looked at patients taking both pimavanserin and SSRIs, compared with SSRIs alone, there was a 4.32-point reduction on the Parkinson’s disease Adapted Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms (SAPS-PD; P = .003) after 6 weeks.

Patients on pimavanserin alone achieved a 2.34-point decline in the scale.

There were 36 patients on concomitant medications and 41 patients on SSRIs alone.

“What we see here it that there may be a benefit with combination of these drugs,” said Dr. Norton. “But we saw no signal of harm with the combination.”

In the full population, 69.1% of patients taking pimavanserin experienced some adverse events compared with 67.4% of patients on SSRIs alone. The rate was 73.7% for patients receiving pimavanserin and SSRIs.

Of the 287 patients evaluated for safety, 11 individuals taking pimavanserin discontinued due to treatment-emergent adverse events compared with 5 patients in the SSRI group.

The study was a pooled analysis of two 6-week, randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled studies of pimavanserin 34 mg.

“The results of this analysis further support previous findings that the combination of pimavanserin and SSRIs may have additive beneficial effects, suggesting a possible enhancement of anti-psychotic effect in patients treated with concomitant SSRIs,” said Dr. Norton.

[Presentation title: Use of Pimavanserin in Combination With Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). Abstract C119]
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