Early combination therapy with bromocriptine and levodopa in parkinson's disease

Authors

  • Dr. Stewart A. Factor,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurology, Albany Medical College, Albany, New York, U.S.A.
    • Department of Neurology (A70), Albany Medical College, New Scotland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208, U.S.A
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  • William J. Weiner

    1. Department of Neurology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
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Abstract

The use of early combination therapy with bromocriptine (Br) and levodopa (LD) in Parkinson's disease is controversial. It has been suggested that treatment with this regimen would prevent or delay the onset of motor fluctuations and dyskinesia. Thus, some have recommended it as a standard of care. This recommendation is based on the theory that LD may accelerate the progression of PD and clinical experience using Br monotherapy in early Parkinson's disease, which suggested that Br causes fewer late complications. This article reviews these arguments and shows that the theories are uproven. A single, uncontrolled trial is often referred to as evidence for efficacy of early combination therapy. We critically review this and five other studies which have evaluated the treatment strategy. We show that the literature is often misleading and that these trials do not support the efficacy of early combination therapy. We conclude that there is no justifiable reason to use a combination of Br and LD in early parkinsonian patients.

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