, Volume 253, Issue 4 Supplement, pp iv36-iv38

Ergoline and non-ergoline derivatives in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease

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There are a large variety of dopamine agonists available. Especially de novo patients are treated with dopamine agonists to avoid dyskinesia. Dopamine agonists can be subdivided into ergoline and non-ergoline derivatives. This distinction raises the question whether there are differences in the effects to treat symptoms, not only in the side effects between the individual dopamine agonists but also between these two groups. Pergolide is now considered a second line drug because of its particularly high tendency towards valvular heart disease. Some authors claim that all ergoline-derivatives may cause this problem, while own results do not necessarily support this view. We recommend performing echocardiography on those patients being treated with an ergotderivative. New data support the view that all dopaminergic drugs may cause somnolence and that there is no preference for non-ergots. It may be that the number of gamblers is slightly higher among patients treated with pramipexole than in others. Dopamine agonists with a high affinity to D3 receptors have a good anti-anhedonic potency. In cell culture all dopamine agonists studied so far show neuroprotective properties in cell culture. The introduction of a slow-release formulation for ropinirole and the rotigotine and lisuride patches have opened new ways of continuous dopamine receptor stimulation. Taken together, dopamine agonists show individual properties and there are differences between ergot and non-ergot derivatives.