Optimizing levodopa therapy to treat wearing-off symptoms in Parkinson's disease: focus on levodopa/carbidopa/entacapone.Expert Rev Neurother. 2012 Feb; 12(2):119-31.ER
Levodopa has been the mainstay of Parkinson's disease (PD) therapy for over 40 years, with its efficacy surpassing that of other antiparkinsonian medications. As such, most PD patients eventually require levodopa-based therapy during the course of the disease. However, despite its proven efficacy, long-term levodopa therapy is associated with motor complications, with wearing-off being the most prevalent. Wearing-off occurs, in part, as a result of the short half-life of levodopa, which leads to fluctuations in plasma levodopa levels. A pharmacokinetic profile characterized by a higher trough value of levodopa can be achieved by combining levodopa/carbidopa with entacapone, which inhibits the peripheral breakdown of levodopa, resulting in higher plasma levodopa levels. Here, we review the limitations of conventional levodopa and the clinical data for levodopa/carbidopa/entacapone in treating patients with wearing-off.