Efficacy of pramipexole, a novel dopamine agonist, as monotherapy in mild to moderate Parkinson's disease. The Pramipexole Study Group.Neurology. 1997 Sep; 49(3):724-8.Neur
A total of 335 patients with early Parkinson's disease (PD) were enrolled in a multicenter, randomized, double-blind trial designed to assess the efficacy and safety of pramipexole. Entry was restricted to patients with idiopathic PD who were not receiving levodopa. Pramipexole was administered according to an ascending dose schedule up to 4.5 mg/d. During the 7-week dose-escalation phase, each subject was titrated to his or her maximally tolerated dose of study medication. This was followed by a 24-week period of maintenance therapy. The mean daily dose during the maintenance period was 3.8 mg. Pramipexole significantly reduced the severity of PD symptoms and signs compared with placebo, as measured by decreases in parts II (Activities of Daily Living) and III (Motor Examination) of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale at week 24 compared with baseline (p < or = 0.0001). Differences between the active drug and placebo groups emerged at week 3 (1.5 mg/d) in the ascending-dose interval and persisted throughout the maintenance phase (p < or = 0.0001). The majority of patients completed the study (pramipexole 83%, placebo 80%). In the assessment of adverse events, nausea, insomnia, constipation, somnolence, and visual hallucinations occurred more frequently in the pramipexole treatment group compared with placebo patients. No clinically significant changes were noted in blood pressure or pulse rate. Overall, these results indicate that pramipexole is safe and effective in the treatment of early PD.