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Parkinson's News: Opicapone Found To Offer Relief For Motor Problems

By Kristen Hortaleza , Jan 07, 2017 12:38 PM EST
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Another great Parkinson's news await those who have been struggling with the disease. A drug called Opicapone has recently been tested and proven to work well in giving a bit of relief to Parkinson's patients.

The experimental drug Opicapone was tested on 427 Parkinson's patients who were having an end-of-dose deterioration from the effects of Levodopa. Among the group, 286 were able to complete the study. Its results show that the drug is safe, well-tolerated and easy to manage in terms of dosage.

Bel Marra Health  states that Opicapone improves movement when taken with the standard Levodopa treatment. According to researchers, the drug helps in intensifying Levodopa's capacity to control Parkinson-induced motor problems like stiffness, tremors and slowed movements in PD patients.

These motor problems are caused by decreased dopamine levels in patients. No cure has been discovered yet that is why a lot of PD patients always get updates about the latest Parkinson's news. Medscape emphasizes the possibility of a higher rate of adherence to the regimen because of its once-a-day dosage.

"The simplicity afforded by the once-daily administration means that addition of this drug will not further complicate the patients' current drug regimen," this then makes it "a strong candidate for the adjunct treatment of motor fluctuations in PD," study authors stated.

The Opicapone drug is only legal in Europe. In the U.S., the only COMT inhibitors available are Tolcapone and Entacapone. These two have their own unique downsides as Tolcapone can cause liver toxicity while Entacapone requires frequent dosing.

Tolcapone reduces off-time at the same level Opicapone does but this will require more frequent laboratory tests to monitor for liver toxicity. Meanwhile, Entacapone needs to be taken frequently. It has to be taken every time PD patients take Levodopa.

Though the drug has not yet been approved in the U.S., this Parkinson's news brings hope to those who want to experience a relief from the troublesome motor conditions of Parkinson's disease.

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