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Northera was approved in 2014 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat orthostatic hypotension — a drop in blood pressure when changing positions such as standing from sitting. Orthostatic hypotension can cause dizziness, lightheadedness or passing out. In Parkinson's, this drop in blood pressure might result from the disease itself or the medications used to treat it.

Northera is a drug that is converted to the body chemical norepinephrine, which raises blood pressure.


Northera increases blood pressure to lessen symptoms such as dizziness, lightheadedness or passing out. In cases where low blood pressure contributes to imbalance and risk of falls, the use of Northera may lessen falls.

Cons and Complications

Potential side effects include headache, dizziness and nausea, as well as high blood pressure, especially when sitting or lying down at night. The latter is known as supine hypertension. Your doctor will have you measure your blood pressure, especially when starting the medication and when increasing the dose, to monitor for elevated blood pressure.

The medical information contained in this article is for general information purposes only. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research has a policy of refraining from advocating, endorsing or promoting any drug therapy, course of treatment, or specific company or institution. It is crucial that care and treatment decisions related to Parkinson's disease and any other medical condition be made in consultation with a physician or other qualified medical professional.

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