Parkinson's Meds Found Safe for the Heart

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A class of drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease that the FDA has warned may increase the risk of cardiac failure is safe for the heart, according to new research.

Hilal Erken Pamukcu, MD, a cardiologist with the Ankara Diskapi Education and Research Hospital in Turkey, and colleagues investigated whether pramipexole (Mirapex) and ropinirole (Requip), both non-ergot derived dopamine agonists, were associated with heart failure. In September 2012, the FDA said that there was possible increased risk of heart failure with pramipexole, though studies were inconclusive it was continuing its review.

The new study enrolled 55 patients with Parkinson’s, of which 24 were taking levodopa alone, 18 were using levodopa and pramipexole and 13 were using levodopa and ropinirole.

There were no significant differences between groups in measures of ventricular, myocardial or systolic functions, the researchers reported at a European Society of Cardiology meeting in Vienna, Austria.

“As we did not show any statistically significant myocardial dysfunction in the groups taking pramipexole or ropinirole, our study suggests that these drugs do not cause heart damage,” Pamukcu said in a statement. “Our conclusion from this small, preliminary study is that non-ergot derived dopamine agonists are safe for the heart.”

She added that additional larger studies are needed to confirm the results.

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Parkinson's Meds Found Safe for the Heart

Non-ergot derived dopamine agonists used to treat Parkinson's disease may be safe for the heart, according to preliminary research presented at EuroEcho-Imaging 2014 by Dr Hilal Erken Pamukcu, cardiologist at Ankara Diskapi Education and Research Hospital in Turkey.

The current study was designed to investigate whether the use of pramipexole and ropinirole, both non-ergot derived dopamine agonists, was associated with heart failure. Heart failure was deemed to occur if patients had asymptomatic myocardial dysfunction and deterioration of myocardial systolic function. These were assessed by examining left ventricular function using two-dimensional strain echocardiography.

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