June 29, 2016: Phase III testing for the compound isradipine is progressing after a remarkably short recruitment period; 336 participants enrolled in less than one year. MJFF interviewed Kevin Biglan, MD, MPH, associate chair of clinical research for the Department of Neurology at the University of Rochester and co-principal investigator of STEADY-PD running the clinical trial (phase III) for Israpidine. This seems to be promising and it is an already approved drug for lowering blood pressure. It is a calcium channel blocker. It looks like (based on the interview excerpt below that it won't be approved for PD until early 2019. Assuming clinical trials continue to show positive results for slowing the disease. I wish I had gotten in on the clinical trial. Anyone out there know about the results of the clinical trials or know anyone participating in them?
MJFF: When might isradipine be approved to treat PD?
KB: The last person will be out of the study in November 2018. After that, it’ll probably be about three to six months before we have final results. That would put us into the beginning of 2019. If the results look promising, because it’s a readily available drug, it may be prescribed for Parkinson’s soon after.
MJFF: Many Parkinson’s patients who don’t have hypertension have asked if they should begin taking isradipine. Is this a good idea?
KB: At this point, we still don’t know that isradipine has beneficial effects on Parkinson’s disease, so we recommend that people don’t start taking this medication until we have more information. Also, low blood pressure is a symptom of PD, and if you don’t have hypertension, this medication may exacerbate that condition. There are other side effects, mainly dizziness and swelling, associated with isradipine, too. Certainly, before you start any medication you should talk to your physician about it. There could be something specific to you that might put you at higher risk of developing problems, so it’s not something people should start without some discussion.