Historical note and nomenclature
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By K K Jain MD

Levodopa was demonstrated in nature, and a simplified manufacturing process was described in 1913 (Guggenheim 1913). In 1961 Birkmayer and Hornykiewicz showed that intravenous dopa briefly improved symptoms in patients with Parkinson disease (Birkmayer and Hornykiewicz 1961). Seven years later, Cotzias showed the effectiveness of levodopa for Parkinson disease by clinical trial (Cotzias 1968). Since its introduction into the clinical use in the early 1970s, levodopa remains the single most effective treatment for Parkinson disease. Stable and controlled formulations that ensure clinical response need to be developed to reduce the undesirable effects that restrict its efficacy (Pezzoli and Zini 2010).

In This Article

Historical note and nomenclature
Clinical trials
Goals and duration of treatment
Precautions and use in special groups
Adverse effects
References cited