Back to Journals » Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment » Volume 4 » Issue 1

Optimizing levodopa therapy for Parkinson’s disease with levodopa/carbidopa/entacapone: implications from a clinical and patient perspective

Authors Brooks DJ

Published 8 February 2008 Volume 2008:4(1) Pages 39—47


David J Brooks

Division of Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, Hammersmith Hospital, London, UK

Abstract: After 40 years of clinical experience, levodopa remains the gold standard treatment for Parkinson’s disease (PD) despite the recent emergence of a host of new therapies. Some physicians are cautious when prescribing levodopa because of its association with motor complications. Evidence now suggests that levodopa-associated complications are a result of deep troughs in delivery of levodopa to the brain caused by the short plasma half-life of conventional levodopa formulations (levodopa and a dopa decarboxylase inhibitor [DDCI]). Dosing strategies, such as dose increases and dose fractionation, may be effective in the short term. For the longer-term, levodopa/carbidopa/entacapone provides pharmacokinetically optimized levodopa therapy that significantly increases the plasma half-life and bioavailability of levodopa, providing more consistent plasma levodopa levels without deep troughs. Evidence from clinical trials in PD patients experiencing re-emergence of symptoms due to wearing-off has consistently shown that levodopa/DDCI and entacapone significantly increases ON-time and affords greater functionality, as measured by the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) with conventional levodopa. These trials have also shown that levodopa/DDCI and entacapone is generally well tolerated, with notable adverse events including worsening dyskinesia, nausea and diarrhea. Patients experiencing re-emergence of symptoms due to wearing-off may benefit from optimized levodopa therapy with levodopa/carbidopa/entacapone.

Keywords: levodopa, wearing-off, dyskinesia, entacapone, Stalevo

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]