Dopamine agonists in Parkinson's disease.Expert Rev Neurother. 2008 Apr; 8(4):671-7.ER
Dopamine agonists are established as effective drugs for the symptomatic treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD) throughout its course. As monotherapy, they produce effective control of motor symptoms and combine this with a low risk for motor complications. As an adjunct to levodopa, they improve motor control and limit the need for levodopa in those patients in whom this may be considered relevant. The non-ergot dopamine agonists in particular have a good safety profile, although as with other agonists, sedation, and cognitive and behavioral problems may be limiting in some patients. Pramipexole has shown benefit in improving depressive symptoms in PD. Ropinirole and pramipexole have both demonstrated a reduction in the rate of loss of nigrostriatal innervation as determined by imaging in PD patients, when compared with levodopa. Thus, dopamine agonists contribute to several dimensions of the management of PD and have become an integral part of the disease treatment algorithm.