The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Stalevo™ (carbidopa, levodopa, and entacapone) tablets for the treatment of patients with idio-pathic Parkinson’s disease who experience diminished benefits as the effects of levodopa wear off. Novartis plans to market the drug, and Orion Pharma will manufacture it in the U.S.
Parkinson’s disease affects more than 1% of people over age 65. Its cause is unknown, but symptoms result primarily from the degeneration of neurons in a part of the brain that controls movement. Patients experience trembling limbs, slowness of movement, stiffness and rigidity of the limbs, and gait or balance problems.
Levodopa is currently the most widely used agent for treating Parkinson’s disease. Carbidopa canadian reduces the side effects of levodopa, and entacapone optimizes its benefits, providing patients with an improved ability to perform everyday tasks and a reduction in disease-related symptoms.
Within one to two years, almost 50% of patients receiving levodopa therapy begin to notice that the effect lasts for shorter periods of time. In 15% to 20% of patients, the wearing-off effect becomes extreme and disabling. It is anticipated that Stalevo™ will be able to provide levodopa to the brain for a longer time.