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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1859321, 8 pages
Research Article

National Trends of Antiparkinsonism Treatment in Taiwan: 2004–2011

1Department of Neurology, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, Hualien, Taiwan
2Department of Neurology, National Taiwan University Hospital, No. 7, Chunag-Shan South Road, Taipei 100, Taiwan
3Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
4Institute of Preventive Medicine, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
5Cardiovascular Center, National Taiwan University Hospital, Yun-Lin Branch, Douliou, Yunlin County, Taiwan

Received 7 September 2015; Accepted 21 January 2016

Academic Editor: Jan O. Aasly

Copyright © 2016 Weng-Ming Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Several guidelines for Parkinson’s disease (PD) management were recently updated. We examined temporal trends for antiparkinsonism drugs in Taiwan. Methods. Antiparkinsonism prescriptions, including levodopa, ergot/nonergot dopamine agonists (DAs), amantadine, selegiline, entacapone, and anticholinergics, were identified in the Taiwan National Health Insurance Database from 2004 to 2011. Time trend analyses were estimated assuming Poisson distribution. Results. A total of 19,302 PD patients in 2004 and 41,606 PD patients in 2011 were analyzed. Antiparkinsonism prescriptions increased significantly from 187,137 in 2004 to 414,587 in 2011. Levodopa monotherapy or combination therapy was the mainstay. Levodopa monotherapy comprised 37.4% of prescriptions in 2004 and 44.2% in 2011, with an annual increase rate of 18.14%. There was a substantially increasing trend of DA prescriptions, which were higher in younger-aged patients (<60 years) than in older-aged group (). Among combination therapy, DA combined with levodopa or other antiparkinsonism medications became the main combinations for younger-aged patients after 2009. After 2005, the proportion of ergot DA usage markedly decreased and PD patients using nonergot DA increased. Conclusions. Levodopa was the major treatment from 2004 to 2011. There was a steeply increased trend of DA use, especially in younger-aged patients. Nonergot agents comprised the major DA group after 2005.