Women and underweight individuals with Parkinson’s disease are more likely to experience troublesome episodes of dyskinesia when receiving levodopa/carbidopa intestinal gel, a formulation of levodopa and carbidopa infused into the intestines, a study has found.
According to researchers, this sub-group of patients should be carefully monitored when starting the therapy, and have individual dose adjustments according to their treatment response, whenever needed.
The study, “Levodopa/carbidopa intestinal gel long-term outcome in Parkinson’s disease: focus on dyskinesia,” was published in the journal Movement Disorders.
Levodopa-based therapies currently are the main forms of treatment used to alleviate Parkinson’s motor symptoms. However, when used for long periods of time, these treatments can cause several side effects, including levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID), a condition in which patients start having involuntary muscle movements.
Levodopa/carbidopa intestinal gel (LCIG), developed by AbbVie and currently available in the U.S. and Europe under the brand name Duodopa, is a long-term therapy for patients at advanced stages of Parkinson’s. In this form of treatment, levodopa and carbidopa are continuously infused into the patients’ upper intestine, via a soft plastic tube surgically inserted through the skin and with the help of a portable pump.
Although LCIG was found to be effective at reducing motor symptom fluctuations caused by the long-term use of levodopa-based therapies, its effects on dyskinesia in patients at advanced stages of Parkinson’s are more variable.
“So far, no study has specifically investigated the pre-treatment prognostic factors for a poor outcome in terms of dyskinesia management under chronic LCIG treatment,” researchers wrote.
To identify which factors could increase the chances patients with Parkinson’s have of developing troublesome dyskinesia while receiving LCIG, a team of Italian researchers reviewed the medical records of 53 patients who had been receiving LCIG for at least six months.
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