A six-month study of pergolide and levodopa in de novo Parkinson's disease patients

Clin Neuropharmacol. Nov-Dec 1998;21(6):358-62.


Formal studies examining the antiparkinsonian efficacy of levodopa and pergolide monotherapy in de novo Parkinson's disease (PD) are lacking. The authors conducted a preliminary, 6-month, open-label parallel experimental study with de novo consecutive PD patients who were randomly assigned to three daily doses of pergolide (n = 10; mean age, 63.7 years; mean Hohen & Yahr score, 1.5; mean final dose, 2.8 mg daily) or levodopa (n = 10; mean age, 67.3 years; mean Hohen & Yahr score, 1.8; mean final dose, 435 mg daily). Doses were titrated individually according to patients' evaluation of their own functional ability, known side-effects, and a monthly administration of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) by a clinician blind to the treatment regime. All patients completed the study. There were no significant basal differences between groups and no significant treatment ortreatment-by-time effects in UPDRS scores (according to two-way ANOVA). A clear time effect was observed for most of the functional and motor variables (p < 0.001), with significant improvement during the first month that was maintained for the duration of the study in both groups. Side effects were mild, transient, and comparable. In this preliminary study, pergolide and levodopa exhibited similar symptomatic efficacy and incidence of side effects in the short-term treatment of de novo PD patients at their usual age of clinical manifestation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antiparkinson Agents / adverse effects
  • Antiparkinson Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / adverse effects
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Skills / drug effects
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*
  • Pergolide / adverse effects
  • Pergolide / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Pergolide
  • Levodopa