Daily isradipine is ineffective at slowing Parkinson’s disease

In a study of more than 300 people with early-stage Parkinson’s disease, researchers found that there was no significant difference in disease progression between those taking isradipine and those given placebo.

Person with Parkinson's disease

The blood pressure therapy isradipine does not slow disease progression in people with early-stage Parkinson’s disease (PD), findings presented at the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting (2 May 2019) have shown[1]

The study involved 336 people with PD (mean time since diagnosis: 0.9 years) who were randomly assigned to isradipine 10mg daily or placebo for 36 months. Disease progression was measured by the change in the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale Part I–III from baseline (mean: 23.1 points) to 36 months.

There was no significant difference between the two groups, with scores increasing by 2.99 points and 3.26 points, respectively. There was also no significant difference in secondary outcomes, such as time to initiation of dopaminergic therapy or onset of motor complications.

The trial followed data from observational studies indicating people who took isradipine had a reduced incidence of PD.

Tanya Simuni, chief of movement disorders in the Department of Neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, and lead author of the study said: “Unfortunately, the people who were taking isradipine did not have any difference in their Parkinson’s symptoms over the three years of the study compared to the people who took a placebo.” 


[1] Simuni T (Parkinson Study Group). A phase III study of isradipine as a disease modifying agent in patients with early Parkinson’s disease (STEADY-PD III): Final study results. Presented at American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting; 4–10 May 2019; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Available at: https://www.aan.com/PressRoom/Home/GetDigitalAsset/12929 (accessed May 2019)

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, July 2019, Vol 11, No 7;11(7):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2019.20206615

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