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What is Gocovri (amantadine) and how does it work?

Medically reviewed by Melisa Puckey, BPharm. Last updated on June 15, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Gocovri (amantadine) is used to treat involuntary movements (dyskinesia) in patients with Parkinson’s disease who are being treated with levodopa-based medicines and who may also be on dopaminergic medications.

Gocovri is also used as an add-on treatment to levodopa/carbidopa for Parkinson’s disease patients who are experiencing “off” episodes.

The way Gocovri works to treat dyskinesia in Parkinson's disease is currently unknown.

Gocovri is an extended release capsule that helps improve rigidity, tremors and the involuntary movements and therefore increases the quality of life of Parkinson’s patients.

What is dyskinesia?

Dyskinesia is when you have uncontrollable, erratic, writhing movements of the face, arms, legs and and/or trunk. There can also be head bobbing, fidgeting or rocking and swaying movements. These unpredictable movements can be extremely frustrating and interfere with how well a person functions in their everyday life.

What is Parkinsons’ Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a brain and nervous system disease that gradually gets worse over time.

There is a gradual loss of nerve cells in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra, these cells usually make dopamine which controls and coordinates body movements. As there are less cells that make dopamine, the dopamine levels become low and this results in body movements becoming slow and awkward. Other symptoms can be tremor (usually at rest), dyskinesia, rigid limbs and gait and balance problems.

Treatment of Parkinson’s disease symptoms is often started with levodopa, which helps replace the lost dopamine. Levodopa works well to reduce movement disorders and dyskinesia, although long term use can result in levodopa-induced dyskinesia.

Gocovri is used in Parkinson’s disease patients who are on levodopa-based medication and/or dopaminergic medications but are still struggling with dyskinesia. The addition of Gocovri can reduce dyskinesia and uncontrolled movements and therefore reduce disability and increase quality of life.

How does Gocovri work?

The way Gocovri reduces dyskinesia Is not known.

Gocovri is known to inhibit NMDA receptors and may have direct and indirect effects on dopamine neurons.

Bottom line:

  • Gocovri treats movement disorders in Parkinson’s patients who are on levodopa-based medicines and who may also be on dopaminergic medications.
  • The way Gocovri works on dykinesia is currently unknown.
  • Gocovri can reduce dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease patients which reduces disability and can increases quality of life
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