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150-Year-Old Drug May Shorten 'Off' Time for Parkinson's Patients

Posted 21 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 21, 2017 – An old standby drug seems to help patients with advanced Parkinson's disease through the difficult times when their usual medication stops working, a new trial suggests. As the movement disorder progresses, the effectiveness of the usual drug, levodopa, wears off more quickly after each dose, the researchers explained. Patients can experience so-called "off" times, which can result in stiffness and leave them immobilized until the levodopa kicks in again. During these off times, the injectable drug apomorphine (Apokyn) can significantly shorten the period before levodopa takes over, the investigators found. "The results confirm what had been expected based on decades of clinical experience with apomorphine infusion in Europe," said lead researcher Dr. Regina Katzenschlager, a guest professor at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria. "When fluctuations in ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Sinemet, Levodopa, Carbidopa/Levodopa, Stalevo, Rytary, Sinemet CR, Parkinsonian Tremor, Stalevo 100, Parkinsonism, Parcopa, Stalevo 200, Carbidopa/Entacapone/Levodopa, APO-Go, Apokyn, Apomorphine, Dopar, Stalevo 50, Stalevo 125, APO-Go Pen

FDA OKs Parkinson's Add-On Drug

Posted 22 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 22, 2017 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for Parkinson's disease. Xadago (safinamide) pills were given the green light as an add-on treatment for people taking levodopa/carbidopa and experiencing "off" episodes. These are periods when medication effectiveness wanes, leading to a rise in symptoms such as tremor and difficulty walking. "Parkinson's is a relentless disease without a cure," Dr. Eric Bastings said in an FDA news release. "We are committed to helping make additional treatments for Parkinson's disease available to patients," added Bastings, deputy director of neurology products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. The FDA's approval of the drug is based on two clinical trials. The studies included a total of nearly 1,200 patients who were taking levodopa and experiencing "off" time. Those who added Xadago to ... Read more

Related support groups: Flexeril, Cyclobenzaprine, Parkinson's Disease, Dry Cough, Mucinex DM, Dextromethorphan, Sinemet, Alka-Seltzer, DayQuil, Levodopa, Daytime, Delsym, Carbidopa, St. John's Wort, Bromfed DM, Tylenol Cold, Promethazine DM, C-Phen DM, Amrix, Tussin DM

Is It Parkinson's or Something Else? Blood Test Might Tell

Posted 9 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2017 – Measuring a particular blood protein might help doctors easily distinguish Parkinson's disease from some similar disorders, a new study suggests. The potential blood test is "not ready for prime time," Parkinson's disease experts said. But, it marks progress in the quest for an objective way to diagnose Parkinson's and similar conditions known as atypical parkinsonian disorders, they noted. Parkinson's disease is a movement disorder that affects nearly 1 million people in the United States alone, according to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation. The root cause is unclear, but as the disease progresses, the brain loses cells that produce dopamine – a chemical that regulates movement. As a result, people suffer symptoms such as tremors, stiff limbs, and balance and coordination problems that gradually worsen over time. Right now, there is no blood test, brain ... Read more

Related support groups: Sinemet, Levodopa, Carbidopa/Levodopa, Stalevo, Rytary, Sinemet CR, Diagnosis and Investigation, Stalevo 100, Parkinsonism, Parcopa, Stalevo 200, Body Imaging, Carbidopa/Entacapone/Levodopa, Stalevo 75, Stalevo 150, Dopar, Stalevo 50, Stalevo 125, Atamet, Larodopa

New Parkinson's Drug May Combat Movement Difficulties

Posted 4 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 3, 2017 – New research suggests that people with Parkinson's disease may achieve better and more reliable motor control by taking an experimental drug called opicapone alongside the standard medication levodopa. A study of several hundred Parkinson's patients found that the drug – opicapone – boosts levodopa's ability to control the motor difficulties associated with Parkinson's, said study co-author Dr. Patricio Soares-da-Silva. These motor problems include tremors, stiffness, and slowed movement. Opicapone (Ongentys) appears to be an improvement over current treatment options, said Soares-da-Silva. He is director of research and development for the drug's maker, Bial-Portela & Ca. SA, in Portugal. There's no known cure for Parkinson's, a progressive neuro-degenerative disease. Nor is there any treatment that effectively slows or stops disease progression, according to ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Sinemet, Levodopa, Carbidopa/Levodopa, Stalevo, Rytary, Sinemet CR, Parkinsonian Tremor, Stalevo 100, Parkinsonism, Parcopa, Stalevo 200, Carbidopa/Entacapone/Levodopa, Stalevo 75, Stalevo 150, Dopar, Stalevo 50, Stalevo 125, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis, Atamet

Exercise May Be Real Medicine for Parkinson's Disease

Posted 22 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 22, 2016 – Almost any exercise is good medicine for someone with Parkinson's disease, a new study confirms. Although physical activity may seem impossible for some Parkinson's patients, the new research review reaffirms what many specialists already believe: that exercise can have a long-term impact, improving gait and reducing risk of falls, in particular. "I pretty much never see a Parkinson's disease patient without recommending exercise," said Dr. Michael Okun, medical director of the Parkinson's Foundation. He is also chairman of neurology at the University of Florida. Parkinson's disease causes the brain to produce less dopamine, which leads to a loss of movement control. Physical symptoms include shaking, slowness and stiffness, but vary widely between individuals. The review measured the combined outcomes of more than 100 studies conducted over the past 30 years ... Read more

Related support groups: Benadryl, Parkinson's Disease, Diphenhydramine, Mirapex, Requip, Ropinirole, Sinemet, Pramipexole, Cogentin, Levodopa, Azilect, Benztropine, Carbidopa, Cabergoline, Emsam, Bromocriptine, Amantadine, Selegiline, Neupro, Benadryl Allergy

Inhaled Version of Parkinson's Drug May Help Keep Symptoms at Bay

Posted 12 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12, 2016 – An inhaled version of the Parkinson's drug levodopa can help when patients experience symptoms between doses of the pill form of the medication, a new, small study finds. Levodopa can control the tremors, rigidity and difficulty maintaining balance and coordination associated with Parkinson's disease. However, within two years, as many as half of all patients have rapid and unexpected loss of motor control during "off" periods, when the drug wears off between doses, the researchers explained. "Off periods are considered one of the greatest unmet medical needs in the treatment of Parkinson's, and typically increase in frequency during the course of the disease," said lead researcher Michael Lipp. He is vice president of pharmaceutical development and technical operations at Acorda Therapeutics, the drug's maker and funder of the study. Inhaled levodopa could ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Sinemet, Levodopa, Carbidopa/Levodopa, Stalevo, Rytary, Sinemet CR, Parkinsonian Tremor, Stalevo 100, Parkinsonism, Parcopa, Stalevo 200, Carbidopa/Entacapone/Levodopa, Stalevo 75, Stalevo 150, Dopar, Stalevo 50, Stalevo 125, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis, Atamet

Study Questions Use of Physical Therapy for Early Parkinson's

Posted 19 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 19, 2016 – Physical therapy might not benefit people with mild-to-moderate Parkinson's disease, a new study suggests. Parkinson's disease is a movement disorder that interferes with the ability to do daily tasks. Typically, physical therapy is used in the later stages of the disease, but this study assessed its effectiveness in earlier stages. Researchers randomly assigned 762 patients with mild-to-moderate Parkinson's to either physical therapy and occupational therapy, or a "control" group with no therapy. Over eight weeks, the patients in the therapy group did about four 58-minute sessions. After three months, there was no difference between the therapy group and the control group in the ability to do daily tasks, the study found. The results were published online Jan. 19 in the journal JAMA Neurology. It's possible that mild-to-moderate Parkinson's disease may not ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Sinemet, Levodopa, Carbidopa/Levodopa, Stalevo, Rytary, Sinemet CR, Parkinsonian Tremor, Stalevo 100, Parkinsonism, Parcopa, Stalevo 200, Carbidopa/Entacapone/Levodopa, Stalevo 75, Stalevo 150, Dopar, Stalevo 50, Stalevo 125, Atamet, Larodopa

New Clues to Easing Side Effects From Parkinson's Drug

Posted 18 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18, 2015 – The drug levodopa is a leading treatment for Parkinson's disease, but for most patients the medication also brings debilitating side effects. Now, scientists say animal studies are pointing to a compound that might reduce those unwanted effects. "If clinical trials confirm our preliminary findings, the eventual drug developed could make a significant improvement in the quality of life for people with Parkinson's disease," lead researcher D. James Surmeier, chair of physiology at Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago, said in a university news release. According to the researchers, Parkinson's disease affects more than one million Americans, and that number is expected to double by 2030. Levodopa is widely used to treat the stiffness, tremors and poor muscle control caused by the illness. But the drug can also trigger uncontrolled movement – ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Sinemet, Levodopa, Carbidopa/Levodopa, Stalevo, Rytary, Sinemet CR, Parkinsonian Tremor, Stalevo 100, Parkinsonism, Parcopa, Stalevo 200, Carbidopa/Entacapone/Levodopa, Stalevo 75, Stalevo 150, Dopar, Stalevo 50, Stalevo 125, Atamet, Larodopa

Parkinson's Drug Shows Promise Against Macular Degeneration

Posted 12 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 12, 2015 – A common Parkinson's disease medication might hold potential for preventing or treating macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly, new research suggests. At this stage, no one is recommending that patients take the drug, levodopa (L-dopa), to thwart eye disease. But the findings are intriguing, researchers said. "Patients taking L-dopa for any reason are much less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration. If they do, they develop the disease much later in life than those not taking L-dopa," said study lead author Brian McKay, an associate professor of ophthalmology and vision science at the University of Arizona. However, the study doesn't actually prove that levodopa causes a lower incidence of age-related macular degeneration. It only uncovered an association between the two. Age-related macular degeneration affects ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Macular Degeneration, Sinemet, Levodopa, Carbidopa/Levodopa, Stalevo, Rytary, Sinemet CR, Diagnosis and Investigation, Parkinsonian Tremor, Stalevo 100, Parkinsonism, Parcopa, Stalevo 200, Carbidopa/Entacapone/Levodopa, Duopa, Stalevo 75, Stalevo 150, Dopar, Stalevo 50

FDA Medwatch Alert: Entacapone: Drug Safety Communication - FDA Review Found No Increased Cardiovascular Risks

Posted 28 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

Including Comtan (entacapone) and Stalevo (entacapone, carbidopa, and levodopa) ISSUE: An FDA safety review has found no clear evidence of an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, or other cardiovascular events associated with the use of entacapone for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. As a result, recommendations for using Comtan (entacapone) and Stalevo (a combination of entacapone, carbidopa, and levodopa) will remain the same in the drug labels. FDA alerted patients and health care professionals about a possible increased risk for cardiovascular events and death with Stalevo in August 2010. This possible safety issue was observed in a clinical trial called the Stalevo Reduction in Dyskinesia Evaluation in Parkinson’s Disease (STRIDE-PD) and in a meta-analysis that combined the cardiovascular-related findings from 15 clinical trials comparing Stalevo to carbidopa/levodopa. Car ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Stalevo, Entacapone, Comtan, Stalevo 100, Stalevo 200, Carbidopa/Entacapone/Levodopa, Stalevo 75, Stalevo 150, Stalevo 50, Stalevo 125

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