Tic reduction with pergolide in a randomized controlled trial in children

Academic Article


  • Objective: To determine whether pergolide, a mixed D1/D2/D3 dopamine agonist, is efficacious and safe in the treatment of children with chronic tic disorders and Tourette syndrome. Background: Neuroleptics, which block dopamine transmission, are currently used to treat children with severe tics, but major side effects and limited efficacy reduce clinical utility. Prior open-label and crossover studies of pergolide suggest potential benefit. Methods: The authors enrolled 57 children and adolescents, ages 7 to 17 years, randomizing them in a 2:1 ratio to either pergolide (0.15 to 0.45 mg per day) or placebo. Tic symptoms had to be >30 on the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS). The primary outcome measure was change in tic severity assessed by YGTSS. Results: Compared to placebo treatment, pergolide treatment was associated with lower tic severity scores (treatment effect 8.8, pergolide vs placebo; 95% CI 0.1 to 17.6; p = 0.05) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms scores (treatment effect 3.8; 95% CI 0.7 to 6.8; p = 0.02). No patient had a serious adverse event and pergolide was well tolerated. Conclusions: In this randomized, placebo-controlled trial, pergolide appeared to be an efficacious and safe medication for tic reduction in children, and may also improve attentiondeficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Neurology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Gilbert DL; Dure L; Sethuraman G; Raab D; Lane J; Sallee FR
  • Start Page

  • 606
  • End Page

  • 611
  • Volume

  • 60
  • Issue

  • 4