Many parkinsonian patients with motor fluctuations in response to levodopa show a good response to initial morning doses but fail to respond in the afternoon and evening. We have studied levodopa and 3-O-methyldopa (3-OM-dopa) plasma profiles in 21 patients with fluctuations and eight patients with stable motor function throughout the day.
Levodopa plasma peaks and valleys were similar for both group of patients. No significant difference for levodopa absorption index [defined as levodopa plasma levels after each dose divided by the quantity (mg) of ingested levodopa] was found between the first and the second levodopa-carbidopa dose in either group of patients. Even in patients who failed to improve after the second levodopa-carbidopa tablet (p.o.) on the day of the study, no significant variation in levodopa absorption index was observed. 3-OM-dopa values depended mainly upon levodopa consumption and were not different for patients with fluctuating or stable motor response.
These findings provide further evidence of the prime role of central pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic factors in the pathogenesis of motor fluctuations in Parkinson's disease.
CITATION Clin Neuropharmacol. 1989 Feb;12(1):46-54
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