Parkinson’s Drug Dangers


FDA Studies Novartis Drug For Cardiovascular Risk


Federal regulators are studying a Novartis Parkinson's disease treatment to determine if it contributes to an increased risk of heart attacks or strokes.

The Food and Drug Administration is examining clinical trial data related to the drug Stalevo, but said patients should not stop taking the drug unless directed to do so by a health care professional.

Data shows a small increased risk, the FDA said, but it has not concluded that Stalevo is to blame.

Several factors have made the evaluation difficult, regulators say. For instance, the trials were not designed to evaluate cardiovascular safety, and most of the patients had pre-existing risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

"It should also be noted that cardiovascular events are not uncommon in people with Parkinson's disease in the age range studied in these trials," the FDA said in a statement Friday.


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© Keith Mann