Parkinson’s Disease Medication List: Can These Meds Help You?
Looking for a list of medications for Parkinson's disease? We've listed all the drugs most commonly prescribed to Parkinson's patients, so you can better understand your options. Remember that whether you are newly diagnosed, or your Parkinson's is progressing, your doctor will be able to advise you on the best medications to take to control your Parkinson’s disease symptoms. Whichever stage you're at, here is a Parkinson's disease medication list to help you gain better insight into your Parkinson’s treatment.
The Parkinson’s Disease Medication List
Medication can be extremely helpful for Parkinson's patients. It doesn't cure the disease or stunt its progression, but it can be highly effective at treating the symptoms. Tremors, slowed movement and rigidity can negatively impact your quality of life with Parkinson's disease, which is why most doctors will recommend a combination of medication, exercise and positive lifestyle changes to help you manage your symptoms.
So, when it comes to Parkinson's disease medications, what are your options? Here is a list to help you understand which drugs are available.
- Carbidopa-levodopa (Sinemet): Levodopa converts natural chemicals into dopamine in your brain. Carbidopa (also known as Lodosyn) prevents the early conversion of dopamine outside your brain and helps control the side-effects of levodopa, such as nausea and light-headedness. Sinemet can also be given intravenously to patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease.
- Safinamide (Xadago): Safinamide is usually prescribed by doctors when a medication like Sinemet stops working. Safinamide often helps Parkinson's patients go longer without experiencing symptoms. Side-effects include difficulty falling or staying asleep, nausea and involuntary movements.
- Selegiline (Eldepryl, Zelapar) and rasagiline (Azilect): This medication blocks the breakdown of dopamine in your brain, which in turn lessens symptoms such as uncontrolled movement and rigidity. According to WebMD, there is some evidence to suggest that selegiline can slow the progression of Parkinson's, although it doesn't stop symptoms completely. Side-effects of selegiline include dizziness, fainting and stomach pain.
- Dopamine agonists: Dopamine agonists mimic dopamine effects in your brain. People with Parkinson’s disease don’t produce enough dopamine, which is what causes movement problems in all stages of the disease. There are some reported psychological side-effects of dopamine agonists, including compulsive behavior and hallucinations.
- Amantadine (Symmetrel): This medication is prescribed to patients in the early stages of Parkinson's disease. Amantadine can also be taken in the later stages of Parkinson's disease to control involuntary movements. Many patients take Amantadine and Sinemet together. Side-effects of this drug include confusion and problems with memory.
Medication Tips for Treating Parkinson’s Disease
Your doctor will determine the best combination of Parkinson's disease medications for you, as well as how and when to take them. There are also some general guidelines to consider:
- Keep a Parkinson’s disease medication list and note down how and when you should take each drug. This can be helpful if memory problems crop up and someone else has to administer medications for you.
- Always take your medications as your doctor prescribes. Write it down or bring a family member to your appointment if you think you’ll forget.
- Store your medications in a dry, safe place, unless your doctor advises you to keep them in the fridge.
- Throw away expired medications.
- Remember to order your prescriptions in advance.
- Always take extra medication with you when you travel.
- Don’t change your dose or stop taking your medication unless your doctor tells you to.
- Take your medication at the same time every day. Keep them in a pill case and set an alarm to remind yourself to take them, especially if you live alone.
- Physical exercise can help the body absorb medication, so try to move as much as possible.
If you have any questions about this Parkinson's disease medication list, consult your doctor. He or she will be able to answer your questions and advise you on how and when to take your medication. You should also seek medical advice if you're struggling with the side-effects of a particular drug or you want to try something different.
There are plenty of treatment options for Parkinson’s disease, and there is no one medication that will work for you. However, you should always consult your doctor before stopping your medication or changing your dose, as this could lead to your symptoms worsening.
Smith, E. (2020, February 9). Parkinson’s Disease Medication List: Can These Meds Help You?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, August 1 from https://www.healthyplace.com/parkinsons-disease/treatment/parkinsons-disease-medication-list-can-these-meds-help-you