Current status of safinamide for the drug portfolio of Parkinson's disease therapy

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Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by a slowly ongoing neuronal death. This alters dopaminergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission and causes a wide variety of motor and non-motor features. Safinamide has a unique pharmacological profile, which combines modulation of dopamine metabolism by reversible, highly specific monoamine oxidase-B inhibition, blockage of voltage-dependent sodium channels, modulation of calcium channels and of glutamate release induced by abnormal neuronal activity. Therefore, safinamide represents an ideal candidate for the treatment of PD. This compound asks for one time daily intake only within an optimum dose range between 50 and 100 mg. In clinical trials, safinamide was well tolerated and safe, improved motor behavior even in combination with dopamine agonist only, ameliorated levodopa-associated motor complications. Safinamide has the potential to become an important compound for the therapy of PD, since its symptomatic efficacy appears to be superior to available monoamine oxidase-B inhibitors or N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonists like amantadine, according to available trial outcomes.

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