Meta-analysis confirms rasagiline efficacy in Parkinson's disease

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  • Rasagiline (Azilect), a selective inhibitor of monoamine oxidase B, reduces a variety of symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

Why this matters

  • Individual trials of rasagiline for Parkinson's disease have generally been small.

Key results

  • Relative to peers given placebo, patients given rasagiline at either 1 or 2 mg/d had greater improvements in Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) total scores (difference in means, 3.305 [P<.001] and 3.287 [P<.001]).
  • Patients given the 1 mg/d dose also had greater improvements in UPDRS Part I (mentation) scores (difference in means, 0.237; P<.001).
  • Both the 1 and 2 mg/d rasagiline groups had greater improvements in UPDRS Part II (activity of daily living) scores (difference in means, 0.909 [P<.001] and 0.979 [P<.001]) and Part III (motor) scores (difference in means, 2.044 [P<.001] and 2.043 [P<.001]).
  • Improved UPDRS total scores were seen whether rasagiline was used alone or combined with levodopa, and were not dose-dependent.

Study design

  • An updated meta-analysis of 10 randomized controlled trials of rasagiline among 2709 patients with Parkinson's disease.
  • The main outcomes were UPDRS total scores and Part I, II, and III subscale scores.
  • Funding: None disclosed.


  • There was heterogeneity of some studies.
  • Most studies of combination therapy used levodopa.