FDA Approves Long-Acting, Infusion Parkinson’s Treatment

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved AbbVie Inc’s treatment for Parkinson’s disease.The treatment, Duopa — a combination of carbidopa and levodopa — is the first to be effective for 16 hours, compared with existing oral formulations that last for up to four hours following a single dose.

Duopa, already available in Canada, is administered using a small portable infusion pump that delivers the drug directly to the small intestine.

Parkinson’s disease is characterized by reduced levels of the hormone dopamine in the brain, which leads to poor mobility, slowness and stiffness. Nearly all patients diagnosed with the disease are treated with levodopa. The effectiveness of oral levodopa, however, is limited by its short half-life. Excessive oral doses often lead to involuntary movements, or dyskinesia.

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