Movement problems (motor fluctuations) are the most common
complication of long-term levodopa use. The majority of people who take
levodopa develop these problems within 5 to 10 years. The main types of
levodopa-related motor fluctuations include:
Motor fluctuations sometimes can be reduced or delayed by changing
the schedule and amount of levodopa. Other medicines may be added to levodopa to help with motor fluctuations, such as dopamine agonists, COMT inhibitors, or MAO-B inhibitors. Increasingly, doctors are using dopamine
agonists for initial treatment of
Parkinson's disease, especially in younger people, to
delay the development of motor fluctuations that eventually occur with
long-term levodopa therapy.
December 5, 2012
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
& G. Frederick Wooten, MD - Neurology
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