Lergotrile in Parkinson disease: Further studies

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Article abstract

Lergotrile was administered to 53 patients with advanced Parkinson disease (PD), who had increasing disability despite optimal treatment with levodopa/carbidopa (Sinemet®). Thirty-nine patients who could tolerate at least 20 mg per day lergotrile (thus considered “adequately treated”) had significant decreases in rigidity, tremor, bradykinesia, gait disturbance, and total score without increased involuntary movements. Twenty-one of these 39 patients improved by at least one stage. Among the 39 patients, 23 had “on-off” effects, and in 13 of these the “on-off” effects decreased on lergotrile. The mean daily dose of lergotrile in adequately treated patients was 49 mg, permitting a 10 percent reduction in the dose of levodopa. Lergotrile was discontinued in 33 of the 53 patients because of adverse effects, including hepatotoxicity (11 patients), mental changes (12 patients) and orthostatic hypotension (8 patients). Although lergotrile, when added to levodopa, has a definite antiparkinsonian effect, the incidence of adverse effects, particularly hepatotoxicity, makes it unlikely that this ergot alkaloid will become widely available for the treatment of PD. Analogues of lergotrile have been synthesized, and it is hoped that they will duplicate the antiparkinsonian effect of this drug without its toxicity.

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