Northera is a prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2014 to treat orthostatic hypotension (dizziness upon standing up) in people with Parkinson’s Disease. Northera is also referred to by its drug name, droxidopa.
Northera is not suitable for use in people who have previously shown hypersensitivity or allergic reactions to droxidopa, aspirin, or the dye FD+C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine). Northera must be used with caution in people with asthma, heart or kidney problems, or a history of stroke. Northera may not be appropriate for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Northera functions as a vasopressor or vasoconstrictor, a drug that constricts the blood vessels. Classed as an alpha and beta-adrenergic agonist, Northera is believed to work by increasing the amount of a hormone called norepinephrine.
How do I take it?
Northera is taken orally as a capsule three times a day, usually in the morning, at midday, and later in the afternoon. Swallow Northera capsules whole without splitting or crushing them.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Northera.
Droxidopa (Northera) was approved by the FDA based on several short-term clinical studies. During the studies, droxidopa significantly reduced dizziness upon standing in some people with Parkinson’s Disease. Droxidopa has not been proven to be effective beyond two weeks of use.
Northera may cause supine hypertension (high blood pressure while lying down), which can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Common side effects of Northera include nausea, headache, and dizziness. Tell your doctor if these side effects become worse.
Inform your doctor immediately if you experience stiff muscles, confusion, high fever, abnormal movements, or usual thoughts while taking Northera.
Many drugs can cause allergic reactions that in the most serious cases, can result in death. Seek immediate medical help if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction such as hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling in the face, throat, eyes, lips, or tongue.