The use of a dopamine agonist with a long duration of action has theoretical advantages in attempting to reduce the motor fluctuations in Parkinson's disease. We report the results of a double-blind controlled study of adding cabergoline, an ergot derivative with potent long-lasting high affinity for the D2 receptor, to levodopa therapy in 37 patients with severe fluctuations in response to treatment. Increasing dosages of cabergoline (19 patients) or placebo (18 patients) were added to each patient's stable levodopa regime. The two patient groups were similar at baseline in terms of age, disease duration, duration of levodopa treatment, and average hours “off” per day. Following incremental dose titration, patients in the cabergoline group had a significant reduction in hours “off” per day from 5.0 (SD 2.1) to 3.0 (SD 2.5), but there was no change in this measure in the placebo group [4.0 (2.2) and 3.3 (2.3) respectively]. This was not at the expense of a significant increase in dyskinesia. However, there was no difference between the groups when comparing their average Hoehn and Yahr stage of disease, and Schwab and England activities of daily living index.