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Clin Neuropharmacol. 2003 May-Jun;26(3):156-63.

Optimizing levodopa pharmacokinetics: intestinal infusion versus oral sustained-release tablets.

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Department of Neuroscience, Neurology, Uppsala University, Sweden.


Continuous duodenal infusion of carbidopa/levodopa has been shown to control motor fluctuations in advanced Parkinson's disease (PD). The authors compared the pharmacokinetics of levodopa and 3-O-methyldopa in patients with advanced PD after administration of an oral sustained-release levodopa preparation and after continuous intestinal levodopa infusion with a new formulation as a gel suspension. A randomized crossover trial was carried out in 12 patients. Carbidopa/levodopa was administered as an oral sustained-release tablet and by nasoduodenal continuous infusion for 3-week periods for each treatment. Plasma levodopa concentrations and motor performance were evaluated every 30 minutes during 3 test days of each treatment period. The average intraindividual coefficient of variation for the plasma levodopa concentrations after oral therapy was 34% and was significantly lower (14%, p < 0.01) during continuous infusion. Hourly video evaluations showed a significant increase in ON time during infusion and a significant decrease in OFF time and dyskinesia. Continuous intraduodenal delivery of a new carbidopa/levodopa formulation offers a means for markedly improved control of motor fluctuations in late stages of PD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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