, Volume 112, Issue 2, pp 221-230
Date: 22 Oct 2004

An open-label evaluation of the tolerability and safety of Stalevo® (carbidopa, levodopa and entacapone) in Parkinson’s disease patients experiencing wearing-off

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Objectives: To evaluate the tolerability, safety and efficacy of Stalevo® (carbidopa, levodopa and entacapone) in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Background: Levodopa provides the most effective symptom control for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, its long-term use is limited by the development of motor complications such as wearing-off. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors such as entacapone extend the plasma half-life of levodopa and reduce ‘off’ time. Stalevo is a new levodopa product that combines carbidopa, levodopa and entacapone in one tablet. Clinical studies have not been reported with this compound. Design methods: An open-label, multi-center US trial evaluated 169 consecutive PD patients experiencing end-of-dose wearing-off, with (n = 39) and without (n = 130) mild dyskinesia. Patients were switched from immediate-release carbidopa/levodopa to Stalevo and were treated for four weeks. Assessments included tolerability measures, adverse events profile, the disease-specific quality of life instrument PDQ-39, UPDRS parts II, III, and question 39 and investigator and patient global clinical assessments. Results: 14 subjects (8%) discontinued treatment with Stalevo, of which 12 (7%) were due to adverse events. 11/130 (8.5%) subjects developed new onset dyskinesia and 17/39 (43.6%) of patients with existing dyskinesia reported a worsening in their dyskinesia. However, this was managed by a change in dose in 21.4% of patients and in another 10.7% dyskinesias resolved without any need for dose adjustment. Other side effects were infrequent and mild, the most common being nausea (12.4%) dizziness (6.5%) and somnolence (6.5%). Stalevo treatment resulted in significant improvements in PDQ-39 and UPDRS (II + III) scores (p < 0.001). Assessment of ‘off’ time demonstrated a reduction in off time in 32% of patients, compared with an increase in 7% of patients. Improvements were noted by both investigator (68.1%) and patient (68.6%) assessments. Conclusions: Switching PD patients experiencing wearing-off from carbidopa/levodopa therapy to Stalevo was safe, well tolerated and resulted in clinical improvement.