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Pergolide: an antiparkinson treatment
with cardiac risks

Pergolide offers no benefits and exposes to numerous risks, especially cardiac.

Pergolide is a rye ergot derivative marketed as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Over several years, there have been reports of damage to the heart valves: 124 cases between November 2004 and February 2007 worldwide.

In 28 of the 44 cases reported in France between January 2005 and February 2007, at least 2 valves were damaged. After halting treatment with pergolide, in 6 cases out of 7 the condition cleared up, and there was one case of valve replacement surgery.

Pergolide has been withdrawn from the market in the USA due to cardiac hear damage. Pergolide does not offer patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease any benefit and there are plenty of other options available.

Yet despite its unfavourable risk-benefit balance, pergolide is still on the French market, continuing to expose patients to severe risks, whereas we could very well do without it.

©Prescrire November 2008

Source: "Pergolide : valvulopathies cardiaques" Rev Prescrire 2008; 28 (300): 749.

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