Affiliations: [a] Current Medical Student, Lancaster Medical School, Lancaster, UK
| [b] Consultant Neurologist, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Preston, UK
Correspondence to: Irene Katsaiti, PhD, Lancaster Medical School, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YW, UK. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abstract: Background:A qualified consensus suggests that a combination of levodopa with a peripherally acting dopa decarboxylase inhibitor continues to present the gold standard treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, as the disease progresses the therapeutic window of levodopa becomes narrowed. Pharmacological strategies for motor fluctuations are focused on providing less pulsatile and more continuous dopaminergic stimulation. Peripheral catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibition improves the bioavailability of levodopa and results in a prolonged response. Objective:The primary aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy and safety of the two available COMT inhibitors; entacapone and tolcapone and the recently introduced opicapone. Methods:Electronic databases were systematically searched for original studies published within the last 37 years. In addition, lists of identified studies, reviews and their references were examined. Results:Twelve studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. 3701 patients with PD were included in this systematic review. Conclusions:Adjuvant treatment of PD patients experiencing motor fluctuations with entacapone resulted in improvement of motor function and was well tolerated. Therefore, entacapone presented an acceptable benefit to risk ratio. Tolcapone appeared to result in a greater therapeutic effect. However, this was not consistent across all motor variables and studies, and thus would not support its use, given the current onerous monitoring that is required. Opicapone was not associated with adverse reactions in a phase III trial but did not present a greater efficacy than entacapone, and thus further studies are required in order to illustrate its cost effectiveness.