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Types of Parkinson's medication

There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s, but medication can usually provide good symptom control for a long time. Meanwhile researchers continue to search for a cure, and research into new and improved medicines continues.

A wide range of Parkinson’s medications is available. These may be taken in many different forms. Your doctor will try to find the medication most suitable for you throughout your Parkinson’s treatment. What is available will depend on the country in which you live.

Medication names and forms

Most medications have two names. The generic (common or unbranded) name describes the active ingredient in the drug, for example co-careldopa. Every drug that has the same active ingredient will have the same name, no matter who manufactures it. Generic names start with a small letter. The different drug companies who produce the medication market it using a brand or trade name. These names vary from country to country. Brand or trade names always use a capital letter, for example Sinemet.

Medications come in various forms: as capsules, tablets or patches. Some are available in liquid form or as dispersible powders for people who have difficulty swallowing. If necessary, medication can also be delivered by injection or using a small pump. For example, apomorphine is given by injection under the skin or through a small pump which provides a continuous infusion, and Duodopa is given through a small pump directly into the small intestine.

Parkinson's medication overview
Generic name Brand name ® Generic name Brand name ®

Levodopa [oral]

COMT inhibitors

  • Co-careldopa
  • Co-careldopa
  • Co-beneldopa
  • Co-careldopa / entacapone combination
  • Sinemet 1,2
  • Lecado 2
  • Madopar 1,2
  • Stalevo 1
  • Entacapone
  • Tolcapone
  • Co-careldopa / entacapone combination
  • Opicapone
  • Comtess/Comtan 1
  • Tasmar 1
  • Stalevo 1
  • Ongentys 1

Levodopa [intestinal infusion]

MAO-B inhibitors

  • Co-careldopa
  • Duodopa 3
  • Selegiline
  • Selegiline
  • Rasagiline
  • Eldepryl 1,7
  • Zelapar 1
  • Azilect 1

Dopamine agonist s [oral]

Anticholinergics

  • Bromocriptine
  • Cabergoline
  • Lisuride
  • Pergolide
  • Pramipexole
  • Ropinirole
  • Parlodel 1
  • Cabaser 1
  • Revanil
  • Celance 1
  • Mirapexin/Sifrol 1,2
  • Requip 1,2
  • Benztropine
  • Orphenadrine
  • Procyclidine
  • Trihexyphenidyl (formerly benzhexol)
  • Cogentin
  • Disipal 1
  • Apricolin 7
    Kemadrin 1
  • Broflex 7

Dopamine agonists [transdermal]

Amantadine

  • Rotigotine
  • Neupro 4
  • Amantadine
  • Symmetrel 1,7

Dopamine agonists [subcutaneous]

Pending classification (both dopaminergic & non dopaminergic actions)

  • Apomorphine
  • Apo-go  5,6
  • Dacepton  5,6
  • Safinamide
  • Xadago 1

Key to forms available:

  1. Tablet or capsule
  2. Controlled release tablet
  3. Intestinal gel
  4. Skin patch
  5. Pre-filled pen
  6. Pre-filled syringe
  7. Liquid or syrup

Related reading

Articles from Parkinson's Life online magazine

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