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This Week in JAMA
October 18, 2000

This Week in JAMA

JAMA. 2000;284(15):1891. doi:10.1001/jama.284.15.1891

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.