On June 2008, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) introduced changes to the Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) for cabergoline and pergolide, to reduce the risk of cardiac valvulopathy in users of these drugs. To assess the effectiveness of EMA recommendations in Italian clinical practice, we retrospectively reviewed medical charts of patients with degenerative Parkinsonism treated with cabergoline in three large Italian clinics between January 2006 and June 2012. The prevalence and the severity of cardiac valve regurgitation were assessed in patients who stopped cabergoline therapy prior to June 2008 or continued therapy after that date. In addition, the proportion of patients undergoing echocardiographic examination in each cohort was evaluated. A total of 61 patients were available for evaluation. The proportion of patients who underwent a baseline echocardiographic examination increased from 64 % in the period before the 2008 SPC changes to 71 % among those who continued treatment after that date. However, only 18 and 29 % of patients underwent at least two echocardiographic examinations during the pre-SPC and cross-SPC change period, respectively. No severe cardiac valve regurgitation was documented in any of the study patients using cabergoline either prior or after 26th June 2008. Our findings show that the 2008 changes to the SPC resulted in an increase in physicians’ awareness of cabergoline-induced valvulopathy risk in Italy. However, only a small percentage of patients underwent serial echocardiography. Further efforts are needed to achieve better compliance with the prescribing guidelines for cabergoline treated patients in clinical practice.

Cabergoline, Dopamine agonists, Italy, Valvulopathy
dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00702-014-1314-z, hdl.handle.net/1765/81250
Journal of Neural Transmission. General Section
Department of Medical Informatics

Italiano, D, Bianchini, E, Ilardi, M, Cilia, R, Pezzoli, G, Zanettini, R, … Trifirò, G. (2015). Effectiveness of risk minimization measures for cabergoline-induced cardiac valve fibrosis in clinical practice in Italy. Journal of Neural Transmission. General Section, 122(6), 799–808. doi:10.1007/s00702-014-1314-z