Oxidative Stress and Neuroprotection

Volume 71 of the series Journal of Neural Transmission. Supplementa pp 17-25

Changing dopamine agonist treatment in Parkinson’s disease: experiences with switching to pramipexole

  • H. ReichmannAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, Technical University of Dresden
  • , P. OdinAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, Central Hospital Bremerhaven
  • , H. M. BrechtAffiliated withDivision Medicine, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG
  • , J. KösterAffiliated withDivision Medicine, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG
  • , P. H. KrausAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, St. Josef-Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum

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1202 patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease switched from other dopamine agonists to pramipexole under open conditions either abruptly or in an overlapping, gradual manner. Mostly insufficient effectiveness motivated the switch. The investigators gave equal preference to either an abrupt or an overlapping switch to pramipexole in this observational study. There was a tendency in favour of the overlapping switch procedure in those patients who were on a relatively higher dose of a dopamine agonist before the switch. The switch was performed because the investigators expected the effect of pramipexole on tremor, motor functions and depression/anhedonia to be better compared with previous dopamine agonists. The main reasons for switching to pramipexole (anti-tremor effect, anti-depressive/anti-anhedonic effect) as given by the physicians at baseline came up to expectations.

The switch to pramipexole mostly yielded further improvements irrespective of the mode of switching.