FDA Clears Once-Weekly Transdermal Patch for Alzheimer's

Megan Brooks

March 15, 2022

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved donepezil transdermal system (Adlarity) for patients with mild, moderate, or severe Alzheimer's disease (AD), the manufacturer has announced.

Adlarity is the first and only once-weekly patch to continuously deliver consistent doses of the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor through the skin, bypassing the digestive system and resulting in low likelihood of gastrointestinal (GI) side effects associated with oral donepezil, the company said in a press release.

Each patch delivers either 5 mg or 10 mg of donepezil daily for 7 days. After that, it is removed and a new patch is applied.

"The availability of a once-weekly patch formulation of donepezil has the potential to substantially benefit patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers," Pierre Tariot, MD, director of the Banner Alzheimer's Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, said in the release.

"It offers effective, well-tolerated and stable dosing for 7 days for patients who cannot take daily oral donepezil reliably because of impaired memory. It can also offer benefits for those patients who have diminished ability to swallow or have GI side effects associated with ingestion of oral donepezil," Tariot added.

The FDA approved Adlarity through the 505(b)(2) regulatory pathway, which allows the agency to refer to previous findings of safety and efficacy for an already-approved product, as well as to review findings from further studies of the product.

The company expects the donepezil transdermal patch to be available in early Fall 2022.

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