Rasagiline, a monoamine oxidase type B inhibitor, is indicated for both the initial treatment of Parkinson disease (PD) and as adjunctive (add-on) treatment for patients already taking dopaminergic therapy. This open-label prospective community-based clinical trial was designed to determine the time-to-onset and the magnitude of the beneficial effects of rasagiline in PD patients.
Patients received rasagiline of 1.0 mg once daily as monotherapy or 0.5 mg once daily as adjunct therapy (adjunct therapy dose could be increased to 1 mg/d if clinically indicated) for 12 weeks. Dietary restrictions and recommendations regarding concurrent antidepressant treatment consistent with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations were in keeping with typical usage. Effectiveness was measured as change from baseline in bradykinesia scores and physicians’ and patients’ global impression. Patients were prospectively monitored for treatment emergent dopaminergic side effects, tyramine reactions, and possible interactions with commonly used antidepressants.
Objective and subjective measures of symptom severity improved at 1 week in 272 PD patients treated with once-daily rasagiline (n=123 monotherapy, n=149 adjunct therapy). The magnitude of beneficial effect was similar in monotherapy and adjunct therapy patients. No significant dopaminergic side effects, tyramine reactions, or interactions with antidepressants were observed in the 12-week trial.
Rasagiline has a measurable beneficial effect on PD symptoms within 1 week of treatment. Rasagiline has a similar magnitude of benefit in monotherapy and adjunct therapy patients. Adverse interactions between antidepressants and rasagiline were not observed in patients in this trial. The usual use of rasagiline in community neurology practice, consistent with the FDA labeling, seems safe and effective.