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Keywords:

  • Dyskinesia;
  • Parkinson's disease;
  • Clozapine

Abstract

Dyskinesias commonly appear during L-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) therapy of advanced Parkinson's disease (PD) and can occur in both dose-related and dose-independent patterns. Clozapine exerts a dose-related suppression of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias by shifting the i.v. L-DOPA dose-response curve for production of dyskinesias without altering relief of parkinsonism. We report our outpatient experience with 13 patients on daily clozapine therapy (maximum dose 400 mg/day), followed for 3–21 months (median 10). Beneficial effects of clozapine, determined from twice-weekly diaries, included increased “on time” and decreased “off time” and time “on with dyskinesia.” Improvements were statistically apparent by 75 mg/day and remained so through 200 mg/day. Sedation was a common problem, reflected by increased time “asleep” which was significant by 50 mg/day. Sedation was dose limiting in most patients. Orthostatic hypotension and sialorrhea were variably present. No patients had seizures, bone marrow toxicity, or detectable loss of efficacy of clozapine with chronic use. We conclude that clozapine is an effective agent for suppression of dyskinesias in PD with an effective daily dose for most patients of 100–200 mg/day.