Patients with Parkinson's disease
have a limited number of
options with respect to treatment. There is no cure available for Parkinson's
disease. The levodopa / carbidopa combination is used as the basic treatment to
control the symptoms. It helps to maintain the levels of dopamine in the brain,
which is reduced in patients with Parkinson's disease. However, there are times
when the combination does not work well and symptoms such as tremors and
difficulty with walking re-appear - these are referred to as "off" periods, in
contrast to the "on" periods when the medication works well.
‘The new treatment for Parkinsonís disease will help patients when they are non-responsive to conventional treatment.’
US FDA has approved safinamide to help patients with Parkinson's disease during
these "off" periods
. Safinamide prevents the breakdown of dopamine
by inhibiting the MAO-B enzyme. Clinical
research has revealed that patients with Parkinson's disease taking the drug as
add-on treatment to levodopa-carbidopa experienced more "on" time, with
reduction in symptoms in the "off" time.
The patients also had better
scores of motor function during the "on" time than before.
effects of safinamide include high blood pressure, involuntary movements,
falls, nausea, sleep disturbances including insomnia or excessive sleep, and eye problems
symptoms include problems with impulse control/compulsive behaviors, confusion,
hallucinations and psychotic behavior. High fever may occur on stopping the
drug. It can cause a dangerous condition called serotonin syndrome when used
with certain other medications like MAOIs, antidepressants
drugs, or cyclobenzaprine
should not be prescribed in patients with severe liver disease
. It should
also not be taken with medications like dextromethorphan, monoamine oxidase
inhibitors (MAOI), certain antidepressants, St. John's Wort and opioid drugs.
The new drug brings hope
to the numerous people in the United States who experience fluctuations in
symptoms with the conventional treatment for Parkinson's disease.
- FDA approves drug to treat Parkinson's
disease - (https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm547852.htm)