Overall Efficacy and Safety of Safinamide in Parkinson's Disease: A Systematic Review and a Meta-analysis

Riccardo Giossi, Federica Carrara, Martina Mazzari, Francesco Lo Re, Michele Senatore, Azzurra Schicchi, Federica Corrù, Veronica Andrea Fittipaldo, Arianna Pani, Irene Tramacere, Antonio Emanuele Elia, Francesco Scaglione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Safinamide is a novel anti-parkinsonian drug with possible anti-dyskinetic properties. Parkinson's disease (PD) is a complex disease. The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of safinamide administration compared to placebo in PD patients on multiple outcomes.

METHODS: PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane CENTRAL, LILACS, and trial databases were searched up to 23 December 2020 for randomized controlled studies (RCTs) comparing safinamide to placebo, alone or as add-on therapy in PD. Data were extracted from literature and regulatory agencies. Primary outcomes were ON-time without troublesome dyskinesia, OFF-time, and Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) section III (UPDRS-III). Secondary outcomes included any dyskinesia rating scale (DRS), ON-time with troublesome dyskinesia, UPDRS-II, and Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire 39 (PDQ-39). In order to estimate mean difference (MD) and odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals (CI), generic inverse variance and Mantel-Haenszel methods were used for continuous and dichotomous variables, respectively. Analyses were performed grouping by PD with (PDwMF) or without (PDwoMF) motor fluctuations, safinamide dose, and concomitant dopaminergic treatment. Summary of findings with GRADE were performed.

RESULTS: Six studies with a total of 2792 participants were identified. In PDwMF patients, safinamide 100 mg as add-on to levodopa (L-dopa) significantly increased ON-time without troublesome dyskinesia (MD = 0.95 h; 95% CI from 0.41 to 1.49), reduced OFF-time (MD = - 1.06 h; 95% CI from - 1.60 to - 0.51), and improved UPDRS-III (MD = - 2.77; 95% CI from - 4.27 to - 1.28) with moderate quality of evidence. Similar results were observed for the 50 mg dose. However, the quality of evidence was moderate only for ON-time without troublesome dyskinesia, whereas for OFF-time and UPDRS-III was low. In PDwoMF patients taking a single dopamine agonist, safinamide 100 mg resulted in little to no clinically significant improvement in UPDRS-III (MD = - 1.84; 95% CI from - 3.19 to - 0.49), with moderate quality of evidence. Conversely, in PDwoMF patients, the 200 mg and 50 mg doses showed nonsignificant improvement in UPDRS-III, with very low and moderate quality of evidence, respectively. In PDwMF patients taking safinamide 100 mg or 50 mg, nonsignificant differences were observed for ON-time with troublesome dyskinesia and DRS, with high and low quality of evidence, respectively. In the same patients, UPDRS-II was significantly improved at the 100 mg and 50 mg dose, with high and moderate quality of evidence. In PDwoMF, UPDRS-II showed a little yet significant difference only at 100 mg, with low quality of evidence. PDQ-39 resulted significantly improved only with the 100 mg dose in PDwMF, with low quality of evidence.

CONCLUSION: Overall, safinamide is effective in PDwMF patients taking L-dopa both at 100 and 50 mg daily. Evidence for efficacy in early PD is limited. Further trials are needed to better evaluate the anti-dyskinetic properties of safinamide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-339
Number of pages19
JournalClinical Drug Investigation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Alanine/administration & dosage
  • Antiparkinson Agents/therapeutic use
  • Benzylamines/administration & dosage
  • Dopamine Agonists/administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Levodopa/administration & dosage
  • Parkinson Disease/drug therapy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


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