A long-term follow-up study of cinnarizine- and flunarizine-induced parkinsonism



The natural course of calcium-entry blocker–induced parkinsonism was evaluated in 13 elderly patients previously exposed to cinnarizine or flunarizine or both for a median period of 7 months. Clinical assessments were carried out before drug discontinuation and twice thereafter over a period lasting ≤7 years. None of the patients showed a full recovery of extrapyramidal signs, indicating that the long-term prognosis of the parkinsonism is less benign than previously reported. Two main patterns of clinical outcome were recognized (i.e., “remittent” and “persistent and not progressive”parkinsonism), whereas the development of a progressive disorder was observed only in one patient. No significant correlation was found between the patterns of outcome and some clinical variables, such as total duration of exposure to cinnarizine and flunarizine, cumulative drug dosages, and age at onset of parkinsonism. There was no significant difference in terms of family history of essential tremor or parkinsonism or both among the patients with the two main patterns of clinical course.