According to researchers the drug selegiline, also known as Eldepryl, may be an effective treatment for patients with newly diagnosed Parkinson's disease.
Selegiline belongs to a group of drugs called monoamine oxidase type B inhibitors, which are used to slow the progression of Parkinson's disease. Doctors have been slow to prescribe selegiline to patients because previous studies have linked it to an increased risk of death. However, selegiline did not increase the risk of death for patients in the current study.
Researchers analyzed 17 trials that compared MAOBIs to a placebo and the commonly prescribed Parkinson's drug levodopa (Dopar or Larodopa). Results show MAOBIs, like selegiline, reduced disability and movement problems without posing significant side effects. Patients who took MAOBIs also required less levodopa than those on placebo. This is important because long-term use of levodopa is associated with negative side effects. Researchers say another benefit of MAOBIs is they are relatively inexpensive.
In conclusion researchers say, MAOBIs reduce disability, the need for levodopa, and the incidence of motor fluctuations without substantial side effects or increased mortality .However they say that large, long-term comparative trials that include patient-rated quality of life measures are needed.