Duodopa offers a new option in Parkinson's disease

Duodopa is an intestinal gel containing levodopa 20 mg and carbidopa 5 mg per ml that has been has been formulated for the treatment of patients with advanced Parkinson's disease.

Duodopa gel is administered by continuous intestinal administration directly into the duodenum via a permanent transabdominal port/duodenal tube using a portable pump.

A temporary nasoduodenal tube should be used before treatment with the permanent tube is started to establish if the patient responds to this method of therapy and to adjust the dose.

The total daily dose of Duodopa is based on the patient's previous daily intake of levodopa and comprises three individually adjusted doses: a morning bolus dose, a continuous maintenance dose and extra bolus doses.

The morning bolus dose should achieve a therapeutic dose level within 10 to 30 minutes, usually in the range of 5-10 ml gel, but not exceeding 15ml.

The remainder of the daily dose is administered as a continuous maintenance dose calculated over 16 hours, usually 2-6ml per hour, but not exceeding 10 ml per hour. Extra bolus doses of 0.5-2 ml may be given if the patient becomes hypokinetic.

Duodopa is presented in cassettes containing 100 ml gel and comes complete with tubing, pump and carrying holster at a cost of £77.00.

Further information: Solvay Healthcare Ltd, Mansbridge Road, West End, Southampton SO18 3JD. Tel: (023) 8046 7000.

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