Rasagiline - A novel MAO B inhibitor in Parkinson's disease therapy

Shimon Lecht, Simon Haroutiunian, Amnon Hoffman, Philip Lazarovici*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative, dopamine deficiency disorder. The main therapeutic strategies for PD treatment relies on dopamine precursors (levodopa), inhibition of dopamine metabolism (monoamine oxidase [MAO] B and catechol-O-methyl trarisferase inhibitors), and dopamine receptor agonists. Recently, a novel selective and irreversible MAO B propargylamine inhibitor rasagiline (N-propargyl-1-R-aminoindan, Azilect®) was approved for PD therapy. In contrast to selegiline, the prototype of MAO B inhibitors, rasagiline is not metabolized to potentially toxic amphetamine metabolites. The oral bioavailability of rasagiline is 35%, it reaches Tmax 7 after 0.5-1 hours and its half-life is 1.5-3.5 hours. Rasagiline undergoes extensive hepatic metabolism primarily by cytochrome P450 type 1A2 (CYP1A2). Rasagiline is initiated at 1 mg once-daily dosage as monotherapy in early PD patients and at 0.5-1 mg once-daily as adjunctive to levodopa in advanced PD patients. Rasagiline treatment was not associated with "cheese effect" and up to 20 mg per day was well tolerated. In PD patients with hepatic impairment, rasagiline dosage should be carefully adjusted. Rasagiline should not be administered with other MAO inhibitors and coadministration with certain antidepressants and opioids should be avoided. Although further clinical evidence is needed on the neuroprotective effects of rasagiline in PD patients, this drug provides an additional tool for PD therapy.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)467-474
Number of pages8
JournalTherapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2007


  • MAO B inhibition
  • Neuroprotection
  • Rasagiline
  • Safety
  • Therapy


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