In a double-blind crossover trial, (-)-deprenyl, a fast-acting selective monoamine-oxidase-B inhibitor without a "cheese effect", was given to 41 patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease who were receiving maximum tolerated doses of levodopa either alone or combined with carbidopa ("Sinemet"). In a dose of 10 mg, daily or on alternate days, (-)-deprenyl prolonged the therapeutic effect of levodopa and was effective in mild "on-off" disabilities with end-of-dose akinesia; the majority of patients with nocturnal and early-morning akinesia also improved. No statistically significant improvement occurred in diurnal akinesia, and there was no improvement in patients with severe on-off disabilities with freezing and rapid oscillations ("yo-yo" effect). Levodopa-induced dyskinesias were aggravated in 14 patients. In 5 previously untreated patients, (-)-deprenyl alone gave no benefit, but when it was used with levodopa and carbidopa a mean dosage reduction of 200 mg levodopa daily was possible. Depression, present in 15 patients, was unchanged. (-)-Deprenyl in combination with smaller total daily doses of levodopa and a peripheral decarboxylase inhibitor may prove useful in reducing the frequency and severity of some types of on-off effect with overall benefit comparable to that obtained with larger doses of levodopa.