Terra Sigillata

You may have read that pergolide (Permax), a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease, has been withdrawn voluntarily from the US market due to its causal association with heart valve abnormalities. I hope to have time later to discuss why these heart problems occur and why other Parkinson’s drugs that act by a similar mechanism of action are still safe.

But for Parkinson’s patients, there is a very, very important point made in the FDA’s press release:

Pergolide should not be stopped abruptly, because rapid discontinuation of all dopamine agonist therapies can be dangerous. Instead, gradually decrease the dose of pergolide.

If you are taking pergolide (Permax), consult with your physician’s office today as to how best to discontinue this drug and possibly replace it with another medicine.

Fortunately, this issue had been recognized by FDA since 2003 and pergolide is not a very popular drug, according to the Wall Street Journal.