Lergotrile mesylate, an ergot alkaloid derivative and putative dopamine agonist, was effective in the majority of patients with Parkinson's disease who were showing signs of disease progression despite treatment with levodopa combined with a peripheral decarboxylase inhibitor (carbidopa). Among 20 patients completing a six-month trial, there was a significant (P<.01) reduction in rigidity, tremor, bradykinesia, gait disturbance, and total score when lergotrile was added to levodopa plus carbidopa. Mean daily dose of lergotrile mesylate was 52 mg, and the mean daily dose of levodopa was reduced by 15%. Abnormal involuntary movements were decreased on addition of lergotrile and reduction in levodopa while mental changes and orthostatic hypotension were increased. Elevations in serum transaminase levels were noted in three patients. The ergot alkaloids promise to be an important new class of antiparkinsonian drugs.
(JAMA 238:2380-2382, 1977)