Summary of key characteristics for dopamine agonists (data adapted from Utti and Ahlskog)15

B Pe L C R Pr
Receptor activity: agonist (antagonist)D2(D1)D2, D1 D2(D1)D2 D2 D2, D1
Pharmacological propertiesErgotErgotErgotLong acting ergotNon-ergotNon-ergot
Plasma half life (hours)3–8161–76567–9
Time to peak plasma concentration (hours)1–21.510.5–41.52
Administration (max dosage, UK, ABPI data)Oral (10–40 mg/daily)Oral (<5 mg/day)1-150 Oral, subcutaneous (<5 mg/day)Oral (20 mg/day)Oral (<24 mg/day)NA
  • B=bromocriptine; Pe=pergolide; L=lisuride; C=cabergoline; R=ropinirole; Pr=pramipexole; NA=not available.

  • 1-150 Some clinics exceed this; the highest daily dose prescribed for several patients with refractory Parkinson's disease has exceeded 30 mg.