APDA American Parkinson Disease Association
Information & Referral Center

Medications for Parkinson's Disease

Medications Approved for theTreatment of Parkinson’s Disease in the USA- November 2008

Generic Name Trade Name Mode of Action Most Common Side Effects*
Carbidopa-levodopa Sinemet

DOPA decarboxylase inhibitor/DA precursor

Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, low blood pressure, anxiety, dyskinesia, confusion, hallucinations
Carbidopa-levodopa
(controlled release)
Sinemet CR DOPA decarboxylase inhibitor/DA precursor Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, low blood pressure, anxiety, dyskinesia, confusion, hallucinations
Carbidopa-levodopa
(orally disintegrating tablet)

Parcopa DOPA decarboxylase inhibitor/DA precursor Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, low blood pressure, anxiety, dyskinesia, confusion, hallucinations
Carbidopa-
levodopa-
entatacapone
Stalevo DOPA decarbarboylase inhibitor/DA precursor/COMT inhibitor Darkened saliva and/or body fluids, diarrhea, fatigue, dizziness, abdominal pain, dyskinesia, pain, constipation, hallucinations
Bromocriptine Parlodel DA agonist Nausea, dizziness, low blood pressure, swelling of ankles, dyskinesia, hallucinations, confusion,
somnolence, sleep attacks
Pramipexole Mirapex DA agonist Nausea, dizziness, low blood pressure, swelling of ankles, dyskinesia, hallucinations, confusion,
somnolence, sleep attacks, compulsive behavior
Ropinirole Requip DA agonist Nausea, dizziness, low blood pressure, swelling of ankles, dyskinesia, hallucinations, confusion,
somnolence, sleep attacks
Ropinirole (extended release
tablets)
Requip XL DA agonist Nausea, dizziness, low blood pressure, swelling of ankles, dyskinesia, hallucinations, confusion,
somnolence, sleep attacks
Apomorphine Apokyn DA agonist Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, low blood pressure, sedation, yawning, hallucinations, dyskinesia, runny nose, swelling of extremities, injection site reactions

Rotigotine (transdermal patch) -
Temporarily withdrawn from US market

Neupro DA agonist Skin reactions at the patch site, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, insomnia, sleep
attacks, hallucinations, low blood pressure
Selegiline Eldepryl

MAO-B inhibitor; inhibits dopamine metabolism

Insomnia, gastrointestinal upset, dyskinesia, hallucinations, confusion
Selegiline (orally disintegrating
tablet)
Zelapar MAO-B inhibitor; inhibits dopamine metabolism
Dizziness, nausea, pain, headache, insomnia, runny nose, dyskinesia
Rasagiline Azilect MAO-B inhibitor; inhibits dopamine metabolism Gastrointestinal upset, headache, dyskinesia
Tolcapone Tasmar

COMT inhibitor; decreases levodopa metabolism

Dyskinesia, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, hallucinations, urine discoloration, elevated liver function enzymes
Entacapone Comtan COMT inhibitor; decreases levodopa metabolism Same as Tasmar except it does not commonly elevate liver function enzymes
Amantadine Symmetrel

DA re-uptake inhibitor; stimulates DA receptors; anticholinergic; NMDA antagonist

Hallucinations, leg swelling, dizziness, mottled leg skin (livedo reticularis), insomnia, confusion, dry mouth and eyes, constipation

Trihexyphenidyl

Artane Anticholinergic Dry mouth & eyes, constipation, urinary retention, memory impairment, confusion, depression,
hallucinations
Benztropine Cogentin Anticholinergic Same as Artane

COMT = Cathechol-o-methyltransferase
DA = Dopamine
DOPA = Levodopa
MAO = Mono amino oxidase
NMDA = N-methyl-D-aspartate

* The most common side effects are listed. Additional side effects, if any, should be discussed with your health care provider.

Important Note: This material is intended to provide the reader with information. It should not be used for treatment purposes, but rather as a source for discussion with the patient's own physician.

This document was updated in November 2008 by American Parkinson Disease Association, Inc. The publication of this educational material was made possible by a non-restricted grant from Teva Neuroscience.

 

Stanford Medicine Resources:

Footer Links: