Systematic Review on Parkinson's Disease Medications, Emphasizing on Three Recently Approved Drugs to Control Parkinson's Symptoms

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Dec 30;19(1):364. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19010364.


Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a disease that involves neurodegeneration and is characterised by the motor symptoms which include muscle rigidity, tremor, and bradykinesia. Other non-motor symptoms include pain, depression, anxiety, and psychosis. This disease affects up to ten million people worldwide. The pathophysiology behind PD is due to the neurodegeneration of the nigrostriatal pathway. There are many conventional drugs used in the treatment of PD. However, there are limitations associated with conventional drugs. For instance, levodopa is associated with the on-off phenomenon, and it may induce wearing off as time progresses. Therefore, this review aimed to analyze the newly approved drugs by the United States-Food and Drug Administration (US-FDA) from 2016-2019 as the adjuvant therapy for the treatment of PD symptoms in terms of efficacy and safety. The new drugs include safinamide, istradefylline and pimavanserin. From this review, safinamide is considered to be more efficacious and safer as the adjunct therapy to levodopa as compared to istradefylline in controlling the motor symptoms. In Study 016, both safinamide 50 mg (p = 0.0138) and 100 mg (p = 0.0006) have improved the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) part III score as compared to placebo. Improvement in Clinical Global Impression-Change (CGI-C), Clinical Global Impression-Severity of Illness (CGI-S) and off time were also seen in both groups of patients following the morning levodopa dose. Pimavanserin also showed favorable effects in ameliorating the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease Psychosis (PDP). A combination of conventional therapy and non-pharmacological treatment is warranted to enhance the well-being of PD patients.

Keywords: anticholinergics; brain; dopamine; monoamine; neurotransmission.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiparkinson Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use
  • Parkinson Disease* / drug therapy
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations*
  • Psychotic Disorders* / drug therapy
  • United States


  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Levodopa