Levodopa “drug holiday” with amantadine infusions as a treatment of complications in Parkinson's disease



The loss of beneficial effect of levodopa due to progression of the disease and alteration of receptor sensitivity makes the treatment of the advanced stadium of Parkinson's disease (PD) very difficult. In the past “drug holidays” was used in attempt to resensitize dopamine receptors in the striatum to make the treatment easier. However possible serious complications like neuroleptical malignant-like syndrome discouraged the use of this procedure. Intravenous administration of amantadine, another antiparkinsonian medication during “drug holidays,” procedure could be a solution for this problem. We studied 12 patients with PD suffering from complication of the therapy. Daily dose of Levodopa used as monotherapy before amantadine infusions ranged between 700 and 2,000 mg. Levodopa was discontinued for 3 days and during that time amantadine sulfate intravenous was administrated. After “drug holidays” levodopa in the same dose as before treatment was resumed. An assessment of the parkinsonian condition was performed with Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale before “drug holidays” 2 days after and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 months later. The follow-up study demonstrated a significant improvement both in the motor condition and complication of therapy. The improvement after therapy was maintained up to 4 month. The levodopa “drug holidays” with amantadine infusion is a valuable option in the therapy of advanced stages of PD. © 2007 Movement Disorder Society