Levodopa-induced dyskinesia can result in significant functional disability and reduced quality of life in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). The goal of this study was to determine if the addition of once-daily ropinirole 24-hour prolonged-release (n = 104) in PD patients not optimally controlled with levodopa after up to 3 years of therapy with less than 600 mg/d delays the onset of dyskinesia compared with increasing doses of levodopa (n = 104). During the study, 3% of the ropinirole prolonged-release group (mean dose 10 mg/d) and 17% of the levodopa group (mean additional dose 284 mg/d) developed dyskinesia (P < 0.001). There were no significant differences in change in Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale activities of daily living or motor scores, suggesting comparable efficacy between the two treatments. Adverse events were comparable in the two groups with nausea, dizziness, insomnia, back pain, arthralgia, somnolence, fatigue, and pain most commonly reported. Ropinirole prolonged-release delayed the onset of dyskinesia with comparable efficacy to increased doses of levodopa in early PD patients not optimally controlled with levodopa. © 2010 Movement Disorder Society.