Researchers say by adding the drug rasagiline to standard treatment with levodopa can reduce the amount of time Parkinson's disease patients spend suffering from motor fluctuations they experience during the day .
For the study researchers compared once-daily oral rasagiline to the drug entacapone, which must be taken with every levodopa dose, and a placebo in around 690 patients. Both of the additional drugs were effective in reducing the amount of "off time" defined as periods during the day when patients have symptoms. Rasagiline reduced "off time" on average by 1.18 hours, compared to 1.2 hours for entacapone. The drug was also found to be well-tolerated in the older age groups, with no evidence of an increase in hallucinations or occurrence of other common side effects of Parkinson's drugs, such as daytime sleepiness, nausea, and leg swelling.
In conclusion researchers say they feel that the drug is likely to find favor with both neurologists and geriatricians as a useful addition to Parkinson's disease therapeutics.