Continuous transdermal dopaminergic stimulation in advanced Parkinson's disease

Leo Verhagen Metman, Marge Gillespie, Carrie Farmer, Francesco Bibbiani, Spiridon Konitsiotis, Michael Morris, Holly Shill, William Bara-Jimenez, M. Maral Mouradian, Thomas N. Chase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


The objective of the study was to determine the safety and efficacy of increasing doses of Rotigotine CDS in patients with advanced Parkinson's disease. The development of motor complications in Parkinson's disease has been linked to intermittent stimulation of dopamine receptors. Continuous, noninvasive, dopaminergic stimulation has not been available to date. Rotigotine CDS is a lipid-soluble D2 dopamine agonist in a transdermal delivery system that could fill this void. This inpatient study consisted of a 2-week dose escalation phase followed by a 2-week dose maintenance phase at the highest dose (80 cm2). Each individual's L-Dopa dose was back-titrated as feasible. The primary outcome measure was L-Dopa dose, and secondary outcome measures included early morning "off"-L-Dopa Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale motor scores by a blinded evaluator and motor fluctuation data obtained from patient diaries ("on" without dyskinesia, "on" with dyskinesia, and "off"). Seven of 10 subjects provided data that could be evaluated. There were two administrative dropouts, and one individual was eliminated from the study because of recrudescence of hallucinations. The median daily L-Dopa dose decreased from 1,400 to 400 mg (p = 0.018, Wilcoxon test). Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale motor scores were unchanged. Although diary variables improved in most individuals, only the reduction in "off" time attained statistical significance. Adverse effects were mild and consisted mainly of dopaminergic side effects and local skin reactions. The data suggest that Rotigotine CDS is an effective treatment for advanced Parkinson's disease and permits patients to substantially lower L-Dopa doses without loss of antiparkinsonian efficacy. Full-scale controlled clinical trials are warranted. In addition to potential therapeutic benefits, this drug can be used to test the hypothesis that continuous dopaminergic stimulation from the initiation of Parkinson's disease therapy will limit the development of motor complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-169
Number of pages7
JournalClinical neuropharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • Constant delivery system
  • Continuous dopaminergic stimulation
  • Dopamine agonist
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Rotigotine CDS
  • Skin patch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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