Pergolide versus levodopa monotherapy in early Parkinson's disease patients: The PELMOPET study

Oertel, W. H. et al. (2006) Pergolide versus levodopa monotherapy in early Parkinson's disease patients: The PELMOPET study. Movement Disorders, 21(3), pp. 343-353. (doi: 10.1002/mds.20724) (PMID:16211594)

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Dopamine agonists are used as initial treatment in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) to reduce incidence and severity of motor complications. This paradigm is based on long‐term studies, allowing “rescue” therapy with levodopa. The present strict monotherapy study (PELMOPET, the acronym for the pergolide‐versus‐L‐dopa‐monotherapy‐and‐positron‐emission‐tomography trial) evaluated the efficacy and safety of pergolide versus levodopa without levodopa “rescue” medication. This multicenter, double‐blind, randomized, 3‐year trial compared pergolide monotherapy (n = 148) with levodopa monotherapy (n = 146) in dopamine‐naive patients with early PD (Hoehn and Yahr stage 1–2.5). Primary efficacy measures were clinical efficacy, severity and time to onset of motor complications, and disease progression. During the 3 years, severity of motor complications was significantly lower and time to onset of dyskinesia was significantly delayed in the group receiving pergolide (3.23 mg/day) compared with those receiving levodopa (504 mg/day). However, time to onset of motor complications was not longer in patients receiving pergolide after 3 years. Symptomatic relief (assessed by Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale [UPDRS], UPDRS II, and III, Clinical Global Impressions [CGI] severity, and CGI and Patient Global Impressions [PGI] improvement) was significantly greater in patients receiving levodopa. Adverse events led to discontinuation of therapy in 17.6% of pergolide patients and 9.6% of levodopa patients. This is the first study comparing strict monotherapy with a dopamine agonist versus levodopa in previously untreated early PD. In principle, both levodopa and a dopamine agonist such as pergolide seem to be suitable options as initial PD therapy. The choice remains with the treating physician based on the different efficacy and adverse event profiles.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Grosset, Dr Donald
Authors: Oertel, W. H., Wolters, E., Sampaio, C., Gimenez-Roldan, S., Bergamasco, B., Dujardin, M., Grosset, D. G., Arnold, G., Leenders, K. L., Hundemer, H.-P., Lledó, A., Wood, A., Frewer, P., and Schwarz, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Movement Disorders
ISSN (Online):1531-8257
Published Online:06 October 2005

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