NORTHERA capsules contain droxidopa, which is a synthetic amino acid precursor of norepinephrine, for oral administration. Chemically, droxidopa is (–)-threo-3-(3,4-Dihydroxyphenyl)-L-serine. Droxidopa is an odorless, tasteless, white to off-white crystals or crystalline powder. It is slightly soluble in water, and practically insoluble in methanol, glacial acetic acid, ethanol, acetone, ether, and chloroform. It is soluble in dilute hydrochloric acid. It has a molecular weight of 213.19 and a molecular formula of C9H11NO5.
NORTHERA capsules also contain the following inactive ingredients: mannitol, corn starch, and magnesium stearate. The capsule shell is printed with black ink.
| Mechanism of Action:
The exact mechanism of action of NORTHERA in the treatment of neurogenic orthostatic hypotension is unknown. NORTHERA is a synthetic amino acid analog that is directly metabolized to norepinephrine by dopa-decarboxylase, which is extensively distributed throughout the body. NORTHERA is believed to exert its pharmacological effects through norepinephrine and not through the parent molecule or other metabolites. Norepinephrine increases blood pressure by inducing peripheral arterial and venous vasoconstriction. NORTHERA in humans induces small and transient rises in plasma norepinephrine.
| INDICATIONS AND USAGE:
NORTHERA is indicated for the treatment of orthostatic dizziness, lightheadedness, or the “feeling that you are about to black out” in adult patients with symptomatic neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (NOH) caused by primary autonomic failure [Parkinson's disease (PD), multiple system atrophy and pure autonomic failure], dopamine beta-hydroxylase deficiency, and non-diabetic autonomic neuropathy. Effectiveness beyond 2 weeks of treatment has not been established. The continued effectiveness of NORTHERA should be assessed periodically.
| WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS:
| ADVERSE REACTIONS
The following adverse reactions with NORTHERA are included in more detail in the Warnings and Precautions section of the label:
| DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION:
The recommended starting dose of NORTHERA is 100 mg, taken orally three times daily: upon arising in the morning, at midday, and in the late afternoon at least 3 hours prior to bedtime (to reduce the potential for supine hypertension during sleep). Administer NORTHERA consistently, either with food or without food. Take NORTHERA capsule whole. Titrate to symptomatic response, in increments of 100 mg three times daily every 24-48 hours up to a maximum dose of 600 mg three times daily (i.e., a maximum total daily dose of 1800 mg).
Monitor supine blood pressure prior to initiating NORTHERA and after increasing the dose.
Patients who miss a dose of NORTHERA should take their next scheduled dose.
| DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS:
NORTHERA capsules are available in 100 mg, 200 mg, and 300 mg strengths as specified below.
100 mg: Hard gelatin capsules with “Northera” on the white body and “100” on the light blue cap
National Institutes of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine, DailyMed Database.
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