Cabergoline in Parkinson's disease complicated by motor fluctuations

Mov Disord. 1996 Sep;11(5):495-500. doi: 10.1002/mds.870110504.


Cabergoline is a long-acting D2 dopamine (DA) agonist. We conducted an open study to investigate the effectiveness and tolerability of cabergoline, administered once a day orally, in 50 consecutive patients with Parkinson's disease complicated by motor fluctuations and dyskinesias. In 15 patients cabergoline replaced another direct DA agonist. Evaluation after 6 months of treatment (also including patients who dropped out during this period), showed an improvement in off or on hours, or both, in excess of 50% in 27 patients, comprising 20 of the 35 patients (57%) previously untreated with DA agonists and seven of the 15 patients (47%) already on DA agonists when the study began. Of the 22 patients who received the treatment for 1 year, the improvement was maintained up to final evaluation in the patients not on DA agonists at admission (n = 16), whereas a slight deterioration in clinical condition was observed in the patients already on DA agonists at admission (n = 6). Only six patients showed a detectable increase in dyskinesias. The most common side effects were gastric upset (n = 12), orthostatic hypotension (n = 3), and ankle edema (n = 3), all mild; also observed were two cases of pleural effusion/pulmonary fibrosis. Twenty patients (40%) failed to complete the treatment; of these, five (10% of total) dropped out because of adverse effects. It is concluded that once-daily administrations of cabergoline are useful for treating patients with Parkinson's disease with motor fluctuations and may advantageously substitute other DA agonists. The side effects of the drug are generally mild, although two cases involving pleuropulmonary complications did emerge.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cabergoline
  • Dopamine Agonists / adverse effects*
  • Dopamine Agonists / pharmacology
  • Dopamine Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced / etiology*
  • Ergolines / adverse effects*
  • Ergolines / pharmacology
  • Ergolines / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / drug effects


  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Ergolines
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2
  • Cabergoline