Historical note and nomenclature
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By K K Jain MD

Ropinirole is a second-generation dopamine agonist. Dopamine agonists were first used in patients with moderate or advanced Parkinson disease. There is now a tendency to introduce dopamine agonists in the first stages of the disease as an attempt to delay motor fluctuations. Although many dopamine agonists were developed, only 4 were marketed and are used extensively for the treatment of Parkinson disease: apomorphine, bromocriptine, lisuride, and pergolide. Ropinirole is 1 of 3 newer dopamine agonists; the other 2 are cabergoline and pramipexole. Ropinirole hydrochloride was developed SKF-101468A and was shown to have antiparkinsonian effects in primate MPTP models of parkinsonism (Eden et al 1991). The United States Food and Drug Administration approved it in 1997 for the treatment of Parkinson disease.