Levodopa therapy monitoring in patients with Parkinson disease: A kinetic-dynamic approach

M. Contin, R. Riva, P. Martinelli, F. Albani, P. Avoni, A. Baruzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors assessed differences in both therapeutic and dyskinesia-matched concentrations of levodopa by kinetic-dynamic modeling in a large cohort of patients with Parkinson disease grouped by severity of symptoms. The goal was to provide a kinetic-dynamic approach to levodopa therapy monitoring to assist treating physicians in rationalizing patients' drug schedules in line with disease progression. Eighty-six patients, grouped according to Hoehn & Yahr (H&Y) clinical stage (H&Y I, n = 23; II, n = 25; III; n = 25; IV, n = 13) enrolled in the study. After a 12-hour levodopa washout each patient was examined using a standard oral levodopa test, based on simultaneous serial measurements of plasma levodopa concentrations, finger-tapping motor effects, and dyskinesia ratings. The kinetic-dynamic modeling for both effects was carried out according to the "link" effect compartment model and sigmoidal pharmacodynamic model. Levodopa plasma kinetics did not differ among patient groups. Duration of motor response was significantly (p <0.001) curtailed in patients in advanced clinical stages whereas dyskinesia duration showed minor changes among the three affected groups (H&Y II, III, and IV). Median effective concentrations (EC50) were increased at the more advanced clinical stage (p <0.001), from a median 0.2 μg/mL in patients at H&Y stage I to 0.9 μg/mL in patients at H&Y stage IV, whereas the maximum effect showed less consistent changes among the four groups. Intrasubject levodopa therapeutic concentrations were lower than values for dyskinesias in patients at the moderate stage of the disease, equaling dyskinesia-matched drug concentrations in the more affected patients. These findings are in line with previous observations of major changes in levodopa concentration-effects relationship with disease progression and support a stratification of patients with Parkinson disease according to kinetic-dynamic modeling. From a practical point of view, knowledge of individual patients' kinetic-dynamic variables can help the physician assess patients' clinical needs objectively and optimize levodopa dosing according to disease progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-629
Number of pages9
JournalTherapeutic Drug Monitoring
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Kinetic-dynamic modeling
  • Levodopa
  • Parkinson disease
  • Therapeutic drug monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Pharmacology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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