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Dopamine-receptor agonists have been proposed as an alternative to levodopa
for the treatment of Parkinson disease to reduce the risk of motor adverse
effects associated with levodopa therapy. In this 2-year trial comparing pramipexole,
a dopamine-receptor agonist, with levodopa for the initial treatment of patients
with early Parkinson disease, the Parkinson Study GroupArticle found that the proportion
of patients who developed dopaminergic motor complications was significantly
less in the pramipexole group than in the levodopa group. Parkinsonian features,
however, improved more in the levodopa group than in the pramipexole group,
and somnolence, hallucinations, and edema were more frequent in the pramipexole
group. In an editorial, TannerArticle weighs the benefits and risks of these drugs.
This Week in JAMA. JAMA. 2000;284(15):1891. doi:10.1001/jama.284.15.1891
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