If you’re not familiar with hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease, you’re not alone

Most people are well aware of the motor symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD), such as tremors, limb stiffness, impaired balance, and slow movement.

Non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s may be more unexpected. Many would be surprised to learn that over the course of their disease, more than half of all people with Parkinson’s are affected by Parkinson’s disease psychosis. This non-motor symptom can cause people to see, hear, or experience things that aren’t real (called hallucinations), or even believe things that aren’t true (called delusions).

How people describe their hallucinations or delusions

  • eye

    Seeing things

    Such as people, either living or deceased, animals, or objects

  • paranoid mind

    Paranoia

    Like believing people are talking about you, or trying to access your money

  • broken heart

    False beliefs

    May include fears of your loved ones stealing from you, putting you in harm’s way, or being unfaithful

  • spiral mind

    Out of touch with reality

    Not being able to tell what’s real or imagined

Over 50% of people living with Parkinson’s will experience hallucinations or delusions over the course of their disease.

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“I never knew that seeing things was a symptom of my Parkinson’s.”*

*Actor portrayal. Based on experiences shared by people living with Parkinson’s disease psychosis

What causes Parkinson’s disease
hallucinations and delusions?

Currently, there is no clear understanding of the exact cause of hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s, although certain brain chemicals and receptors (such as dopamine and serotonin) are believed to play a role. In general, the condition is thought to be caused by the following:

  • Side effect of dopamine therapy

    Hallucinations and delusions may be a side effect of common Parkinson’s medications (called dopaminergic therapies). These medications increase dopamine levels in the brain, helping improve motor symptoms in patients with Parkinson’s. However, increasing dopamine levels can also cause changes that lead to hallucinations and delusions.

  • The natural progression of Parkinson’s

    Hallucinations and delusions can be triggered by changes in the brain that occur naturally as Parkinson’s progresses—regardless of whether or not you take any medications to increase your dopamine levels.

Uncovering symptoms

People often don’t tell their doctors about their Parkinson’s disease hallucinations and delusions, which can be a challenge when trying to diagnose the condition.

10% to 20%
Only 10% to 20% of patients will proactively mention their hallucinations and delusions.

What are some risk factors?

There’s no way to accurately predict which patients will develop Parkinson’s hallucinations or delusions, but there are a number of risk factors:

  • senior citizen

    Getting
    older

  • chart - upward trend

    Duration and
    severity of
    Parkinson’s

  • medications

    Medications
    that increase
    dopamine levels

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Important Safety Information and Indication for NUPLAZID (pimavanserin) 17-mg Tablets

Elderly people with dementia-related psychosis (having lost touch with reality due to confusion and memory loss) taking antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. 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. Continues below

NUPLAZID may cause serious side effects including:

QT Interval Prolongation: NUPLAZID may increase the risk of changes to your heart rhythm. This risk may increase if NUPLAZID is taken with certain other medications known to change heart rhythm. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take or have recently taken.

It is important to talk to your healthcare provider about the possible side effect of changes to your heart rhythm. Call your healthcare provider right away if you feel a change in your heartbeat.

Do not take NUPLAZID if you have certain kinds of heart conditions such as:

  • An irregular heartbeat
  • A slow heart rate

Before taking NUPLAZID, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • Reduced kidney function. NUPLAZID is not recommended if you have severe kidney problems.
  • Reduced liver function. NUPLAZID is not recommended if you have liver problems.

Other medicines may affect how NUPLAZID works. Some medicines should not be taken with NUPLAZID. Your healthcare provider can tell you if it is safe to take NUPLAZID with your other medicines. Do not start or stop any medicines while taking NUPLAZID without talking to your healthcare provider first.

The most common side effects of NUPLAZID include swelling in the legs or arms, nausea, confusion, hallucination, constipation, and changes to normal walking. These are not all the possible side effects of NUPLAZID. For more information, ask your healthcare provider about this medicine.

Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if NUPLAZID may harm your unborn baby.

It is not known if NUPLAZID is safe and effective in people under 18 years of age.

Dosage and Administration

The recommended dose of NUPLAZID is 34 mg per day, taken as two 17‑mg tablets, once per day.

Indication

NUPLAZID is a prescription medicine used to treat hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease psychosis.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1‑800‑FDA‑1088. You can also call ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. at 1‑844‑4ACADIA (1‑844‑422‑2342).

Please see full Prescribing Information including Boxed WARNING.

This website is intended for use by US residents.

+ Expand - Close

Important Safety Information and Indication for NUPLAZID (pimavanserin) 17-mg Tablets

Elderly people with dementia-related psychosis (having lost touch with reality due to confusion and memory loss) taking antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. 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. Continues below

NUPLAZID may cause serious side effects including:

QT Interval Prolongation: NUPLAZID may increase the risk of changes to your heart rhythm. This risk may increase if NUPLAZID is taken with certain other medications known to change heart rhythm. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take or have recently taken.

It is important to talk to your healthcare provider about the possible side effect of changes to your heart rhythm. Call your healthcare provider right away if you feel a change in your heartbeat.

Do not take NUPLAZID if you have certain kinds of heart conditions such as:

  • An irregular heartbeat
  • A slow heart rate

Before taking NUPLAZID, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • Reduced kidney function. NUPLAZID is not recommended if you have severe kidney problems.
  • Reduced liver function. NUPLAZID is not recommended if you have liver problems.

Other medicines may affect how NUPLAZID works. Some medicines should not be taken with NUPLAZID. Your healthcare provider can tell you if it is safe to take NUPLAZID with your other medicines. Do not start or stop any medicines while taking NUPLAZID without talking to your healthcare provider first.

The most common side effects of NUPLAZID include swelling in the legs or arms, nausea, confusion, hallucination, constipation, and changes to normal walking. These are not all the possible side effects of NUPLAZID. For more information, ask your healthcare provider about this medicine.

Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if NUPLAZID may harm your unborn baby.

It is not known if NUPLAZID is safe and effective in people under 18 years of age.

Dosage and Administration

The recommended dose of NUPLAZID is 34 mg per day, taken as two 17‑mg tablets, once per day.

Indication

NUPLAZID is a prescription medicine used to treat hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease psychosis.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1‑800‑FDA‑1088. You can also call ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. at 1‑844‑4ACADIA (1‑844‑422‑2342).

Please see full Prescribing Information including Boxed WARNING.

This website is intended for use by US residents.