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Tolbutamide in the Treatment of Parkinsonism

Grant L. Heller, M.D.; Russell N. Dejong, M.D.; Kenneth R. Magee
JAMA. 1961;176(2):148-149. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.63040150009018b.
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A RECENT preliminary report on the use of tolbutamide in paralysis agitans stated that 11 of 15 patients with this disorder showed considerable decrease in rigidity, tremor, or both, after the administration of this hypoglycemic agent.1 Improvement of mask-like facies and speech was also noted in several patients. The authors found that the effect was not related to hypoglycemia and was present whether or not antispasmodic medicaments were given.

This paper will report a double-blind study of 39 patients with Parkinsonism who were given both tolbutamide and a placebo, either alone or in combination with other antispasmodic or antihistaminic drugs. The series was composed of 20 males and 19 females. No diabetic patients were included. Twenty-one patients had idiopathic Parkinsonism, 7 were arteriosclerotic, and 11 had the postencephalitic form of the disorder. Random numbers were assigned to bottles containing either tolbutamide or the placebo. This numbering system avoided the


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