Levodopa/carbidopa and entacapone in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease: efficacy, safety and patient preference
1Department of Neurology, St. Joseph Hospital Berlin-Weißensee, Berlin, Germany; 2IGSN, Ruhr University of Bochum, Bochum, Germany
Abstract: Levodopa (LD) is the oldest, most efficacious and best-tolerated drug for dopaminergic substitution of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Its main drawback is its short half-life, which supports onset of motor complications in the long term. Therefore well-informed PD patients mostly accept LD therapy as late as possible. Recent LD trials indicate that a combination of LD with carbidopa (CD) and the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitor entacapone (EN) may reduce the onset of these motor complications to a certain extent. This observation is further supported by pharmacokinetic trials and experimental research, but there is still a need to confirm this in a clinical trial, which is under way. Additionally, combined LD/CD/EN was superior to LD/CD administration regarding cognition, muscle behavior and gastrointestinal function in small clinical trials. Moreover there is accumulating evidence that combined COMT inhibition with LD administration reduces homocysteine synthesis. In the long term, homocysteine elevation supports onset of arteriosclerosis-related disorders, which are more frequent in PD patients according to epidemiological studies than in the normal healthy population. The introduction of LD/CD/EN in one tablet supported patients’ preference of COMT inhibition as an essential component of LD/DDI therapy, as this combination reduced number and size of tablets.
Keywords: levodopa, entacapone, Parkinson’s disease, preference, compliance, acceptance
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