Selegiline and levodopa in early or moderately advanced Parkinson's disease: a double-blind controlled short- and long-term study


Address: B. Sivertsen, M.D. Neurologisk afdeling Aarhus Kommunehospital DK-8000 Aarhus C Denmark


Abstract– Selegiline 10 mg per day was compared to placebo as an adjunct to levodopa treatment in this double-blind study of early or moderately advanced Parkinson's disease. Thirty-eight patients completed an initial cross-over trial comprising two treatment periods, each of eight weeks, with a four weeks’wash-out period between them. Thirty of the patients continued in a long-term, double-blind parallel trial with a mean duration of 16 months (range 6–30 months). Selegiline treatment allowed a significant reduction of the necessary daily levodopa dose in both parts of the study and of the daily dosing frequency in the long-term investigation. In spite of this reduction of levodopa dose, an improvement was noted in tremor during the short-term selegiline periods. The side-effects were slight and related to dopamine effects and disappeared after reduction of levodopa-dose. The results support the use of selegiline as an early adjunctive treatment in Parkinson's disease.