As Parkinson’s progresses and levodopa is taken for longer, some people may experience dyskinesia (involuntary movement) and/or “off” time, when Parkinson’s symptoms are not well-controlled. There are treatment options for these complications, but sometimes treating one can worsen the other. For example, adding more levodopa to decrease “off” time could worsen dyskinesia. Or decreasing levodopa to lessen dyskinesia could worsen “off” time.
For some people, one medication may be able to offer help with both dyskinesia and “off” time. New research suggests that Gocovri (amantadine extended release), approved to treat dyskinesia, also may decrease “off” time.
While two previous Phase III trials of Gocovri focused on dyskinesia, they also gathered data on “off” time. (The Michael J. Fox Foundation enabled these trials through support for the creation and validation of a dyskinesia rating scale.) Robert Hauser, MD, MBA, of the University of South Florida and colleagues analyzed a subset of 101 participants who had an average of 4.4 hours of “off” time each day. In data presented at the Annual Academy of Neurology 2020 Science Highlights Platform, they found that, after 12 weeks, compared to people on placebo, those on Gocovri had an average of 1.2 hours less “off” time per day and significantly improved function.
Some doctors and patients using Gocovri may already be familiar with these dual effects on both dyskinesia and “off” time, and this new data provides scientific backing for potentially broader use in a wider group of people with Parkinson’s. Adamas Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the maker of Gocovri, recently submitted a supplemental new drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expand the indication of Gocovri to treat “off” time in addition to dyskinesia.
If approved (a decision is expected by February 2021), people with Parkinson’s would have another FDA-approved option for “off” time, which can impact daily tasks and quality of life. Because people respond differently to different medications, more options mean a better chance of finding the right one(s) for you and your symptoms.