If you or your loved one is experiencing Parkinson’s-related hallucinations and delusions, there’s something you
PD-related hallucinations and delusions are more common than you think
Around 50% of people with Parkinson's disease (PD) may experience hallucinations and/or delusions over the course of their disease, and these symptoms may get worse over time.
Quick facts about Parkinson’s disease
PD is a disorder of the central nervous system
PD is progressive, meaning it gets worse over time
The cause of PD is unknown but certain factors, such as genetics and environment, are believed to play a role
PD reduces the brain’s production of dopamine—a chemical that sends signals that control movement
The signs and symptoms of PD can vary
There are 2 general types of PD symptoms—motor symptoms, which most people are well aware of, and the nonmotor symptoms, which may be unexpected. The nonmotor symptoms of PD, include hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or experiencing things that others don't) and delusions (believing things that are not true). These nonmotor symptoms, when experienced as part of Parkinson's, are known as Parkinson's disease psychosis (PDP).
PD motor symptoms
Slowness of movement
Trouble with balance
PD nonmotor symptoms
Loss of mental sharpness/acuity
Constipation, impaired bladder control
How people with Parkinson's disease describe their hallucinations or delusions
Seeing things that others don't
Hearing things that others don't
Such as believing people are talking about you or trying to access your money
Such as fears of your loved ones stealing from you, loved ones putting you in harm's way or being unfaithful
Watch Joe & Mariann’s story
In this video, Joe and his friend Mariann, discuss his experience living with PD-related hallucinations and delusions. Joe talks about how the hallucinations have affected him, and how he started to speak to his healthcare provider to address them.
These stories represent the experiences of actual patients and caregivers. The opinions expressed are their own, and individual experiences may vary. Always speak with your healthcare provider. See more personal stories.
What causes Parkinson’s disease–related hallucinations and delusions?
Currently, there is no clear understanding of the exact cause of hallucinations and delusions associated with PD. However, 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
Hallucinations and delusions may be a side effect of common PD medications (called dopaminergic therapies). These medications increase dopamine levels in the brain, helping improve motor symptoms in patients with PD. However, increasing dopamine levels may also cause changes that lead to hallucinations and delusions.
The natural progression
Hallucinations and delusions may be caused by changes in the brain that occur naturally as PD progresses—regardless of whether or not the person with PD takes any medications to increase dopamine levels.
The challenges of Parkinson's disease–related hallucinations and delusions
Living with PD-related hallucinations and delusions isn't easy. No matter how severe they are, hallucinations and delusions can bring about new challenges for you and your loved one.
More than motor symptoms
People who develop nonmotor symptoms associated with PD like hallucinations or delusions often have to deal with a broader set of challenges and more limitations to their activities of daily life.
Changes at home
Hallucinations and delusions can increase the distress of people with PD and the people who care for them.
Losing touch with reality
As hallucinations progress, the people who experience them may lose the ability to identify whether or not what they’re experiencing is real.
It's not surprising that PD-related hallucinations and delusions can also present emotional issues for everyone involved. These symptoms can cause emotional distress and increase the burden on the caregiver. It’s important to remember that these symptoms are a part of the disease.
See how NUPLAZID® can help with PD-related hallucinations and delusions
Get more information about PD-related hallucinations and delusions
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION and INDICATION
What is the most important information I should know about NUPLAZID?
Medicines like NUPLAZID can raise the risk of death in elderly people who have lost touch with reality (psychosis) due to confusion and memory loss (dementia).
NUPLAZID is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia who experience psychosis unless their hallucinations and delusions are related to Parkinson’s disease.
Who should not take NUPLAZID?
- Do not take NUPLAZID if you have had an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in NUPLAZID. Allergic reactions have included rash, hives, swelling of the tongue, mouth, lips, or face, throat tightness, and shortness of breath.
- Do not take NUPLAZID if you have certain heart conditions that change your heart rhythm. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider about this possible side effect. Call your healthcare provider if you feel a change in your heartbeat.
What other warnings should I know about NUPLAZID?
- 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 prolong the QT interval. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take or have recently taken.
Please also see What is the most important information I should know about NUPLAZID?
What medicine might interact with NUPLAZID?
- Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take. 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.
What are the common side effects of NUPLAZID?
- The 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.
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).
NUPLAZID is a prescription medicine used to treat hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease psychosis.
How should I take NUPLAZID?
The recommended dose of NUPLAZID is one 34 mg capsule once per day, taken by mouth, with or without food.
NUPLAZID is available as 34 mg capsules and 10 mg tablets.
Please read the full Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNING.