Chelsea Therapeutics International has announced that it is starting Phase II trials of the drug Droxidopa as a fibromyalgia treatment, both alone and in combination with Carbidopa. Trials are taking place in the U.K.
Droxidopa is a synthetic version of a substance your body uses to produce the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which is frequently low in people with fibromyalgia. It is also used as a treatment for orthostatic hypotension (a tendency to get dizzy upon standing), which is a common fibromyalgia symptom. Droxidopa was first developed in Japan and has been approved there for orthostatic hypotension (OH) since 1989.
In the U.S., Droxidopa has Orphan Drug Status and currently is in Phase III trials for OH associated with Parkinson’s disease, Pure Autonomic Failure and Multiple System Atrophy.
Carbidopa is approved in the U.S. for Parkinson’s disease. When taken along with a drug that increases dopamine levels, Carbidopa helps alleviate side effects and helps maintain the dopamine increase.