From the FDA:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced that manufacturers of pergolide drug products, which are used to treat Parkinson’s disease, will voluntarily remove these drugs from the market because of the risk of serious damage to patients’ heart valves.
The products being withdrawn are Permax, the trade name for pergolide marketed by Valeant Pharmaceuticals, and two generic versions of pergolide manufactured by Par and Teva. Pergolide is in a class of medications called dopamine agonists and is used with levodopa and carbidopa to manage the symptoms (tremors and slowness of movement) of Parkinson’s disease.
In 2006, an estimated 12,000 patients received prescriptions for pergolide from retail pharmacies in the United States. Patients taking pergolide should contact their doctors to discuss alternate treatments. Patients should not stop taking the medication, as stopping pergolide abruptly can be dangerous.
There are alternative therapies available for Parkinson’s disease, including three other dopamine agonists that have not been associated with valvular heart disease. The removal of pergolide products is not expected to adversely affect patient care because of the alternative therapies available.