What is the role of dopamine agonists (ropinirole, pramipexole) in the treatment of Parkinson disease (PD)?

Updated: Jan 24, 2019
  • Author: Robert A Hauser, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Dopamine agonists (ropinirole, pramipexole) provide moderate symptomatic benefit and delay the development of dyskinesia compared with levodopa. Proactively screen patients receiving oral dopamine agonists for adverse events. A review of the Cochrane and PubMed databases from 1990 to 2008 found that these agents caused a 15% increase in adverse events such as somnolence, sudden-onset sleep, hallucinations, edema, and impulse control disorders (eg, pathologic gambling, shopping, and Internet use; hypersexuality; and hoarding). [45] Note that patients may be reluctant to mention these events or may not attribute them to their treatment.


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