Deprenyl in Parkinson's disease

Lancet. 1977 Oct 15;2(8042):791-5. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(77)90725-5.


In a double-blind crossover trial, (-)-deprenyl, a fast-acting selective monoamine-oxidase-B inhibitor without a "cheese effect", was given to 41 patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease who were receiving maximum tolerated doses of levodopa either alone or combined with carbidopa ("Sinemet"). In a dose of 10 mg, daily or on alternate days, (-)-deprenyl prolonged the therapeutic effect of levodopa and was effective in mild "on-off" disabilities with end-of-dose akinesia; the majority of patients with nocturnal and early-morning akinesia also improved. No statistically significant improvement occurred in diurnal akinesia, and there was no improvement in patients with severe on-off disabilities with freezing and rapid oscillations ("yo-yo" effect). Levodopa-induced dyskinesias were aggravated in 14 patients. In 5 previously untreated patients, (-)-deprenyl alone gave no benefit, but when it was used with levodopa and carbidopa a mean dosage reduction of 200 mg levodopa daily was possible. Depression, present in 15 patients, was unchanged. (-)-Deprenyl in combination with smaller total daily doses of levodopa and a peripheral decarboxylase inhibitor may prove useful in reducing the frequency and severity of some types of on-off effect with overall benefit comparable to that obtained with larger doses of levodopa.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carbidopa / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Evaluation
  • Drug Synergism
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Movement Disorders / drug therapy
  • Movement Disorders / epidemiology
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*
  • Phenethylamines / administration & dosage
  • Phenethylamines / adverse effects
  • Phenethylamines / therapeutic use*


  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
  • Phenethylamines
  • Levodopa
  • Carbidopa