A recent French study has shown the complementary effects of rasagiline when used with levodopa in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Patients taking levodopa to reduce symptoms of Parkinson's disease often experience an "off-time." When the drug has reduced their motor skills, rasagiline effectively reduces this off-time. Olivier Rascol, MD, PhD, and colleagues at the University Hospital in Toulouse studied 687 patients who were receiving long-term levodopa treatment. The researchers administered rasagiline to one third of the patients, entacapone to another third, and placebo to the last third. Their results showed rasagiline and entacapone to be equally effective in reducing the off-time when motor skills are reduced. According to Dr. Rascol, "Rasagiline achieved the 2 main goals of treatment after levodopa? reduced disability and decreased motor fluctuations." He further praised the drug's once-daily administration.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.