New patent has been issued for doxidopa to treat fibromyalgia and its debilitating symptoms.
According to Chelsea Therapeutics, manufacturer of droxidopa, the drug has been linked to pain reduction in fibromyalgia patients participating in previous studies. The drug, they said, can work alone or jointly with other medications.
Droxidopa was approved in Japan for the treatment of orthostatic hypotension prior to its approval in the US for fibromyalgia treatment. It functions by converting into the hormone and neurotransmitter norepinephrine (NE) once ingested, increasing the amount of NE present in the nervous system.
Recent research delving into the cause and potential treatments of fibromyalgia has focused on norepinephrine, which has been linked to chronic pain and depression in prior studies. The hormone’s purpose is to send signals from the autonomic nerves to blood vessels and the heart.
“By replenishing depleted norepinephrine via endogenous enzymatic pathway,” states the Chelsea Therapeutics website, “Droxidopa allows for re-uptake of norepinephrine into peripheral nervous system neurons—stimulating receptors for vasoconstrinction and providing physiological improvement in symptomatic neurogenic orthostatic hypotension patients.”
Chelsea recently began phase two of its trial on droxidopa, which will focus on roughly 120 participants suffering from fibromyalgia. The findings of this portion of the trial are expected by the end of the year.
Droxidopa is also being tested in phase three trials to treat neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (NOH) in Parkinson’s disease patients, as NOH is caused be a scarce release of norepinephrine.