Comparative efficacy of selegiline versus rasagiline in the treatment of early Parkinson's disease

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2014 Jul;18(13):1879-82.


Objectives: The monoamine oxidase B inhibitors selegiline and rasagiline have not been compared in head-to-head clinical trials in patients with early Parkinson's disease. The aim of this review was to compare the efficacy of these two agents in this setting.

Materials and methods: Randomized, placebo-controlled trials with an endpoint of the mean change from baseline in the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) total score were included. Analysis included calculation of the standardized mean differences (SMDs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and Forest Plot analyses for comparisons of pooled results.

Results: Five studies with selegiline (n = 1029) and four with rasagiline (n = 820) were included. Treatment duration was 2.5-9 months. Both selegiline and rasagiline showed significant SMDs versus placebo (-0.690, 95% CI -0.811, -0.569 and -1.025, 95% CI -1.230, -0.820; respectively), indicating a significant effect of both drugs on UPDRS. The SMD between selegiline and rasagiline was not significantly different (SMD 0.079; 95% CI -0.010, +0.167).

Conclusions: It appears that selegiline and rasagiline have comparable efficacy in improving Parkinsonian symptoms in patients with early stage disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiparkinson Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Indans / therapeutic use*
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Selegiline / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Indans
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
  • rasagiline
  • Selegiline