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Rasagiline – a novel MAO B inhibitor in Parkinson’s disease therapy

Authors Shimon Lecht, Simon Haroutiunian, Amnon Hoffman, Philip Lazarovici

Published 15 July 2007 Volume 2007:3(3) Pages 467—474

Shimon Lecht1,3,4, Simon Haroutiunian2,4, Amnon Hoffman2, Philip Lazarovici1

1Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics; 2Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel; 3This manuscript is a part of PhD thesis to be submitted to The Hebrew University of Jerusalem by SL; 4These authors contributed equally in preparation of this manuscript

Abstract: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative, dopamine deficiency disorder. The main therapeutic strategies for PD treatment relies on dopamine precursors (levodopa), inhibition of dopamine metabolism (monoamine oxidase [MAO] B and catechol-O-methyl transferase inhibitors), and dopamine receptor agonists. Recently, a novel selective and irreversible MAO B propargylamine inhibitor rasagiline (N-propargyl-1-R-aminoindan, Azilect®) was approved for PD therapy. In contrast to selegiline, the prototype of MAO B inhibitors, rasagiline is not metabolized to potentially toxic amphetamine metabolites. The oral bioavailability of rasagiline is 35%, it reaches Tmax after 0.5–1 hours and its half-life is 1.5–3.5 hours. Rasagiline undergoes extensive hepatic metabolism primarily by cytochrome P450 type 1A2 (CYP1A2). Rasagiline is initiated at 1 mg once-daily dosage as monotherapy in early PD patients and at 0.5–1 mg once-daily as adjunctive to levodopa in advanced PD patients. Rasagiline treatment was not associated with “cheese effect” and up to 20 mg per day was well tolerated. In PD patients with hepatic impairment, rasagiline dosage should be carefully adjusted. Rasagiline should not be administered with other MAO inhibitors and coadministration with certain antidepressants and opioids should be avoided. Although further clinical evidence is needed on the neuroprotective effects of rasagiline in PD patients, this drug provides an additional tool for PD therapy.

Keywords: rasagiline, MAO B inhibition, therapy, safety, neuroprotection

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