Inhaled levodopa for threatening impending OFF episodes in managing Parkinson's disease

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J Neural Transm (Vienna)


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that leads to the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons resulting in a widespread pathology of motor and non-motor symptoms. Oral levodopa remains the most effective symptomatic treatment of PD, but motor complications such as Off episodes occur over time. The spectrum of manifestation of OFF episodes varies, e.g., early morning akinesia, end-of-dose wearing OFF, delayed ON, suboptimal ON and dose failure. The functional disability substantially impacts the quality of life for PD patients. An innovative on-demand therapy to treat Off episodes was approved for patients receiving oral levodopa/dopa deacarboxylase inhibitor: inhaled levodopa powder (Inbrija®). The pulmonary delivery of inhaled levodopa powder provides a predictable and fast treatment effect, independent of gastrointestinal dysfunctions or food intake, which could affect levodopa absorption. Levodopa is administered with a breath-actuated inhaler device and the approved dose is 84 mg per Off episode. During the pivotal SPAN-PD phase III trial, significant improvement in Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale III score was measured 30 min post-dose at week 12. Improvement was already seen for the first measured time point 10 min post-dose. No differences in pulmonary function was observed when using inhaled levodopa powder regularly for up to 12 months. Inhaled levodopa powder was also approved for early morning Off episodes. The aim of this review article is to give an overview of the different clinical studies of the innovative inhaled levodopa powder, a new on-demand therapy to treat Off episodes in PD.

Medical Subject Headings

Humans; Levodopa; Parkinson Disease; Antiparkinson Agents; Powders; Quality of Life; Administration, Inhalation

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ePub ahead of print





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