27 June 2017

Apomorphine infusion effective in treating motor fluctuations of Parkinson’s

A new study proves that apomorphine subcutaneous infusions reduce OFF time in Parkinson patients, in other words times of motor deficit. “Our results provide high level evidence that apomorphine infusion is an effective treatment method for Parkinson patients whose motor fluctuations are inadequately controlled by other therapies,” said leading investigator Adjunct Professor Dr Regina Katzenschlager from the Donauspital in Vienna, Austria. She presented the main findings of the TOLEDO study at the 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) in Amsterdam.

Previous findings on treatment with infusions had shown that apomorphine shortens the OFF time in Parkinson patients, improves dyskinesia and reduces the need for orally administered levodopa. Its efficacy has now been confirmed for the first time in a controlled clinical study

Patients from 23 centres in seven countries were randomised to receive either apomorphine subcutaneous infusion or placebo saline infusion for twelve weeks. Apomorphine infusion brought about a considerable reduction in OFF time and a substantial prolongation of ON time without troublesome dyskinesia. The efficacy of the infusion was also perceived as better by the patients in the apomorphine group than by those in the placebo group. Dr Katzenschlager: “The medication was well tolerated. We detected no unexpected adverse effects. The study results should encourage us to prescribe to our Parkinson patients with severe motor fluctuations this effective therapy, which has been all too rarely used thus far.

Source: 3rd EAN Congress Amsterdam 2017, Abstract Katzenschlager et al.; Double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study (TOLEDO) to evaluate the efficacy of apomorphine infusion in reducing OFF time in Parkinson’s disease patients with motor fluctuations

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