New delivery method improves efficacy of two common Parkinson's disease medications

June 20, 2012

A new delivery method for levodopa/carbidopa, a common dual-drug Parkinson's disease (PD) regimen, significantly improved the duration of the drugs' effectiveness in people with advanced PD, according to research by Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The new method is continuous delivery of an intestinal gel formulation of the therapies, which are traditionally taken orally. The study found that the continuous gel delivery reduced "off" time—when the medicine's effectiveness wears off—by an average of nearly two extra hours per day. The gel also improved "on" time without involuntary movements when patients enjoyed a good response, compared to people taking standard levodopa/carbidopa.

The researchers are presenting their findings at the Movement Disorder Society's 16th International Congress of and Movement Disorders being held from June 17-21 in Dublin.

Levodopa is the most effective drug for treating PD, reducing tremors, slowness, stiffness, and walking difficulty, and carbidopa helps prevent nausea and vomiting associated with levodopa. After five to 10 years, however, the duration of its treatment benefits wears off and PD-related symptoms return, representing a major source of disability for patients despite the benefits of the drug. This period of ineffectiveness, which can last six hours or more per day, is known as "off" time.

Researchers led by C. Warren Olanow, MD, Henry P. and Georgette Professor and Chairman Emeritus, Department of Neurology and Director of the Bendheim Parkinson Center at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, performed a double-blind study to explore whether continuous delivery of an intestinal gel form of levodopa/carbidopa could reduce "off" time in people with advanced PD. They found that the levodopa/carbidopa intestinal gel (LCIG) reduced "off" time by nearly four hours, two hours more than standard oral formulations of levodopa.

"Maintaining a response to oral therapy is a challenge in Parkinson's disease patients, and there is a significant unmet need for a treatment that provides the benefits of the without off time or dyskinesia," said Dr. Olanow. "Since it is administered continuously through a pump, LCIG is a promising development that improves outcomes and quality of life in patients with advanced disease."

The research team conducted a 12-week randomized, double-blind trial in 71 PD patients. At the start of the study, the average person had PD for about 11 years and experienced 6.6 hours of "off" time per day. Patients were randomized to receive a continuous infusion of LCIG, delivered through a portable pump connected to a tube implanted in the intestine, plus placebo pills; or placebo gel plus oral /carbidopa.

Treatment with LCIG was not associated with an increase in troublesome dyskinesia. The most common side effects associated with LCIG treatment involved complications due to inserting the device, abdominal pain, pain during the procedure and nausea.

Explore further: Clinical trial: Intestinal gel reduces 'off' time in advanced Parkinson's disease

Related Stories

Clinical trial: Intestinal gel reduces 'off' time in advanced Parkinson's disease

April 17, 2012
A levodopa-carbidopa intestinal gel (LCIG) works better than standard oral levodopa-carbidopa in reducing "off" time in patients with advanced Parkinson's disease. That's according to results of the phase three randomized, ...

Investigational drug may reduce involuntary movements

April 12, 2011
Results of the first randomized, placebo-controlled long-term clinical trial show the investigational drug safinamide may reduce dyskinesia or involuntary movements in mid-to-late stage Parkinson's disease. The findings will ...

Recommended for you

Singing may be good medicine for Parkinson's patients

August 11, 2017
(HealthDay)—Singing? To benefit people with Parkinson's disease? It just may help, a researcher says.

Tracing the path of Parkinson's disease proteins

August 4, 2017
As neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease progress, misfolded proteins clump together in neurons, recruiting normal proteins in the cell to also misfold and aggregate. Cells in which this ...

Diabetes drug shows potential as disease-modifying therapy for Parkinson's disease

August 3, 2017
A drug commonly used to treat diabetes may have disease-modifying potential to treat Parkinson's disease, a new UCL-led study suggests, paving the way for further research to define its efficacy and safety.

Two new studies offer insights into gastrointestinal dysfunction in Parkinson's patients

July 31, 2017
Constipation is one of the most common non-motor related complaints affecting Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. Two important studies from the same research group published in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease expand the ...

New drug may treat and limit progression of Parkinson's disease

July 31, 2017
Researchers at Binghamton University have developed a new drug that may limit the progression of Parkinson's disease while providing better symptom relief to potentially hundreds of thousands of people with the disease.

A new insight into Parkinson's disease protein

July 28, 2017
Abnormal clumps of certain proteins in the brain are a prominent feature of Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases, but the role those same proteins might play in the normal brain has been unknown.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.