CNS Drugs

, Volume 17, Issue 8, pp 593–600 | Cite as

Sleep Attacks and Dopamine Agonists for Parkinson’s Disease

What is Currently Known?
  • Theresa A. Zesiewicz
  • Robert A. Hauser
Review Article


The aetiology of sleep disturbances in patients with Parkinson’s disease is multifactorial. Medications, the disease process and underlying sleep disorders may contribute to sleepiness in patients with the disease. Somnolence, excessive daytime sleepiness and sleep attacks appear to be more common in patients with Parkinson’s disease who are treated with dopamine receptor agonists than in those who are treated with other antiparkinsonian agents, although virtually all dopaminergic antiparkinsonian medications may contribute to sleepiness. Somnolence caused by dopamine agonists may be dose related and occurs most frequently during the dose-escalation phase. Somnolence may also emerge or worsen after a period of time on a stable dose. Patients with Parkinson’s disease and caregivers should be informed about the risk of sleepiness and sleep attacks associated with dopaminergic medications and the potential implications for driving safety.


Levodopa Dopamine Agonist Modafinil Epworth Sleepiness Scale Pramipexole 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Dr Hauser has worked with the following pharmaceutical companies in various capacities, including as a consultant, on advisory boards, on speaker’s bureaus and as an investigator: Roche Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline, Athena Neurosciences, Pharmacia, Medtronics, Novartis, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Watson Laboratories, Somerset Pharmaceuticals, Merck Germany, Kyowa and Cephalon. Dr Zesiewicz has worked with the following pharmaceutical companies: GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Pharmacia and Boehringer speaker’s bureau. No funding was received to assist in the preparation of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders CenterUniversity of South Florida, Tampa General HealthcareTampaUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyUniversity of South Florida, Tampa General HealthcareTampaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacology and Experimental TherapeuticsUniversity of South Florida, Tampa General HealthcareTampaUSA

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