Adjuvant therapy of parkinsonian tremor

Arch Neurol. 1987 Sep;44(9):921-3. doi: 10.1001/archneur.1987.00520210023013.


The effect of long-acting propranolol hydrochloride (160 mg/d), primidone (250 mg at night), and clonazepam (4 mg/d) on the resting, postural, and kinetic component of tremor was investigated in ten parkinsonian patients in a double-blind crossover design. Tremor was assessed by patient opinion, clinical scoring, and accelerometer recordings. The amplitude and frequency of tremorgrams were determined by spectral analysis. Most patients preferred long-acting propranolol and chose to continue taking the drug. The mean clinical score for resting and postural tremor was significantly decreased by long-acting propranolol but not by primidone or clonazepam. Long-acting propranolol reduced the mean amplitude of resting tremor by 70% and the mean amplitude of postural tremor by 50%. Mean tremor amplitudes were not changed by primidone or clonazepam. Tremor frequency was unaltered by the drugs. No side effects occurred with long-acting propranolol but adverse reactions were common with primidone and clonazepam. Long-acting propranolol is a useful adjuvant therapy for the tremors associated with Parkinson's disease.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antiparkinson Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carbidopa / therapeutic use
  • Clonazepam / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*
  • Primidone / therapeutic use*
  • Propranolol / therapeutic use*
  • Random Allocation
  • Tremor / drug therapy*
  • Trihexyphenidyl / therapeutic use


  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Primidone
  • Levodopa
  • Clonazepam
  • Trihexyphenidyl
  • Propranolol
  • Carbidopa