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Comparison of the effectiveness, safety, and costs of anti-Parkinson drugs: A multiple-center retrospective study.

AIMS: This study aimed to systematically compare the effectiveness, safety, and costs of different anti-Parkinson drugs (APDs).

METHODS: This is a multi-center study that retrospectively analyzed the data of 8420 outpatients with PD from 2014 to 2019 across 30 tertiary hospitals in China. The effectiveness was evaluated by changes in total dosages of APDs, normalized by levodopa equivalent dose (LED) and presented as ΔLEDs; levodopa equivalent dose cost (LEDc) represented the daily cost of APDs; and newly added diagnostics were represented as APDs-related adverse events.

RESULTS: A total of 384 patients with eligible medical records for three consecutive years were enrolled. Patients treated with carbidopa/levodopa or levodopa/benserazide had significantly lower mean ΔLEDs than other groups (p < 0.01), followed by pramipexole and selegiline. The piribedil group had the highest ΔLEDs, with mean differences of 112.56-355.04 mg compared to other groups (p < 0.01). Meanwhile, LEDc in the levodopa/benserazide, carbidopa/levodopa, and piribedil groups were significantly lower than those in pramipexole or selegiline groups ($0.088-0.135/day for levodopa/benserazide; $0.070-0.126/day for carbidopa/levodopa; $0.112-0.138/day for piribedil; $0.290-0.332/day for pramipexole; $0.229-0.544/day for selegiline; p < 0.01). Patients with piribedil had more adverse events, with an incidence rate of 35.7%, followed by levodopa/benserazide (25.6%), selegiline (23.5%), carbidopa/levodopa (23.3%), and pramipexole (16.4%). Pramipexole showed a lower incidence rate of adverse events than piribedil, including neuropsychiatric symptoms (p = 0.006), headache/dizziness (p = 0.016), and gastrointestinal symptoms (p = 0.031).

CONCLUSIONS: Carbidopa/levodopa or levodopa/benserazide might exhibit better clinical improvement with less medical cost, while piribedil presented less clinical improvement but a higher risk of headache/dizziness, gastrointestinal, and neuropsychiatric symptoms.

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