Switch from rasagiline to safinamide in fluctuating Parkinson’s disease patients: a retrospective, pilot study

Edoardo Bianchini, Michela Sforza, Domiziana Rinaldi, Marika Alborghetti, Lanfranco De Carolis, Francesco Della Gatta, Francesco E. Pontieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Besides the inhibition of monoamine-oxidase-B, high-dose safinamide (100 mg) also blocks voltage-gated Na+ and Ca++ channels and inhibits glutamate release at overactive synapses. This latter mechanism may provide further benefit to fluctuating Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients compared to rasagiline. Here, we retrospectively investigated the consequences of shifting from rasagiline to high-dose safinamide in PD patients reporting symptoms of wearing-off, defined by the Wearing-Off-Questionnaire-19 (WOQ-19) score ≥3 at baseline. Seventeen PD patients were switched from rasagiline 1 mg to safinamide 100 mg because of the report of symptoms of fluctuations while under therapy with either levodopa+rasagiline or levodopa+rasagiline+dopamine agonists, or re-occurrence of fluctuations previously corrected by add-on with rasagiline. Patients were re-evaluated 4–6 months after switch. Switch to safinamide 100 mg produced benefit in 9/17 (52.9%) subjects, together with significant reduction of subjective symptoms of wearing-off. There was no report of adverse events. Findings from this retrospective, exploratory study suggest that safinamide 100 mg may produce more powerful benefit that rasagiline 1 mg as add-on to levodopa in fluctuating PD patients, possibly because of the bimodal mechanism of action of the former drug.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurological Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Parkinson’s disease
  • rasagiline
  • safinamide
  • wearing-off

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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