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Levadopa Outperforms Newer Medications for Parkinson’s Disease

Posted Jun 18 2014 2:22pm

In a recent study published in The Lancet researchers found that newly diagnosed Parkinson’s Disease patients benefited from levadopa over newer drugs in the long-term treatment of Parkinson’s Disease.  These newer drugs are the dopamine agonists and monoamine oxidase Type B (MAO-B) inhibitors.

As reported by Health 24 , this study was conducted with 1,600 newly diagnosed Parkinson’s Disease patients who were followed for up to seven years.  They were selected randomly to take either levadopa or one of the other two medications.  The study leader, Richard Gray, from the University of Oxford in England stated, “Although the differences in favour of levodopa are small, when you consider the short- and long-term benefits, side effects, quality of life for patients, and costs, the old drug levodopa is still the best initial treatment strategy for most patients.”

Over the years patients have wondered if it is best to stick with levadopa or take one of the newer drugs.  This long-term study helps to alleviate some of the mystery surrounding the choices a PWP (person with Parkinson’s) has to make.  Even though long term use of levadopa can have side effects of  muscle spasms and movement problems, we know that dopamine agonists and MAO-B inhibitors can also have side effects of nausea, swelling, sleep problems and hallucinations.

This study gives us some better data about taking levadopa for PD.

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