Rajesh Pahwa, MD: Advantages of Levodopa-Carbidopa Intestinal Gel

September 29, 2020

The director of the Parkinson’s Foundation Center for Excellence at University of Kansas Medical Center detailed the pros and cons of levodopa-carbidopa intestinal gel.

"If a medicine is not going into your blood or your brain, but rather is just sitting in your stomach, then it is as good as you not taking it.”

Data presented at the 2020 MDS Virtual Congress, September 12–16, 2020, by Rajesh Pahwa, MD, revealed that patients with Parkinson disease (PD) who were treated with levodopa-carbidopa intestinal gel (LCIG) experienced a faster time to ON without troublesome dyskinesia (ON-woTD) compared with immediate-release levodopa-carbidopa oral capsules (LCIR). Within 30 minutes of waking up, 11.3% of patients on LCIG had ON-woTD compared to 20% of those on LCIR.

Pahwa, the Laverne and Joyce Rider Professor of Neurology; chief of the Parkinson’s and Movement Disorder Division; and director of the Parkinson's Foundation Center for Excellence at University of Kansas Medical Center, feels as though the advantages clear enough to where LCIG should be more normalized into clinical care. The major difference between the 2 options is that LCIG is administered through a port, whereas LCIR is taken orally.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, Pahwa explained the concepts behind how LCIG is administered, and why its mechanism of action allows for faster ON-woTD in patients with PD.