Orthostatic hypotension (OH) is the symptom where your blood pressure falls suddenly once you stand up, resulting in dizziness, lightheadedness, passing out, vision changes, or falling. It’s called neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (nOH) when the cause is a neurological disorder, such as multiple system atrophy.
Northera (droxidopa) is a new medication to treat nOH. The pharmaceutical company selling Northera is Lundbeck. At the end of 2014, Lundbeck published a brochure on nOH. MSA is specifically mentioned in the brochure along with Parkinson’s Disease and Pure Autonomic Failure (PAF).
Vera just posted a link on the ShyDrager Yahoo!Group to the brochure:
I thought this was a good explanation:
“Unfortunately, some people with nervous system disorders, such as PD, MSA, or PAF, may develop symptomatic nOH. That’s because of the way these diseases can damage the nervous system. As a result, your nervous system may not be able to make or release enough norepinephrine, which may lead to a communication breakdown with the blood vessels. This means that when you stand up from sitting or lying down, the blood is pulled down into the lower part of your body. But since the blood vessels don’t receive the message that they need to constrict, blood pressure drops and not enough blood reaches your brain. This is what leads to symptoms like dizziness, lightheadedness, vision changes, or passing out.”
Interestingly, their medication isn’t mentioned. Perhaps they aren’t allowed to bring that up.