Rasagiline: An oral irreversible MAO-B inhibitor for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease

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Rasagiline (Teva/Eisai), a second-generation irreversible MAO inhibitor highly selective for type B of the enzyme, is expected to gain FDA approval in late 2004/early 2005 for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease in monotherapy or as adjunct therapy to levodopa. Rasagiline is more potent than selegiline, the only FDA-approved drug within the same class, and may be devoid of the undesirable effects (blood pressure increases, euphoria, and sleep disturbances) often reported with selegiline. Rasagiline has been studied and proven effective versus placebo in patients with moderate and advanced Parkinson’s disease in both phase 2 and 3 clinical trials. The drug is administered orally once daily and does not require titration. Furthermore, rasagiline has demonstrated neuroprotective activity in various in vitro models and may show promise in the treatment of other neurologic diseases; however, these properties have yet to be studied in humans.

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