4-Propyl-9-hydroxynaphthoxazine, or MK-458 (HPMC), a selective, nonergot D2 agonist administered orally twice a day in sustained-release form, was studied as adjunctive therapy with carbidopa-levodopa (Sinemet) in 12 Parkinson's disease patients with motor response fluctuations. The dosage of agonist was gradually increased over 12 weeks to a maximum tolerated level of up to 60 mg/day, and that of Sinemet was reduced concurrently. After 8 weeks, reduction of Sinemet averaged 45.1%, but over the next 4 weeks, despite a continued increase in dosage of the agonist, patients were unable to decrease their Sinemet further, and by 12 weeks mean reduction in Sinemet was only 32%. Only five patients completed the planned 24-week study, mostly due to progressive loss of efficacy. The MK-458 is capable of partially substituting for Sinemet in dosages employed in this study. Reduced sensitivity to the drug can appear over a relatively short time, perhaps as a result of down-regulation of postsynaptic dopamine receptors.