Parkinson's Disease Medications
Dopamine Agonists as Medications for Parkinson's DiseaseHealthcare providers can also use dopamine agonist drugs for Parkinson's disease to deal with particular symptoms or stages of the disease. Examples of dopamine agonists approved for treating Parkinson's disease include:
- Apomorphine (Apokyn®)
- Bromocriptine (Parlodel®)
- Pergolide (Permax®)
- Pramipexole (Mirapex®) or pramipexole ER (Mirapex® ER™)
- Ropinirole (Requip®).
These five drugs mimic the role of dopamine in the brain, causing the neurons to react as they would to dopamine.
Dopamine agonists can be given alone or with levodopa, and may be used in the early stages of the disease or started later to lengthen the duration of response to levodopa in people experiencing wearing off or on-off effects. These different medications are generally less effective than levodopa in controlling rigidity and bradykinesia.
Side effects of dopamine agonists are similar to those seen with levodopa and may include:
MAOIs as a Parkinson's Disease MedicationMonoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are another class of drugs that may be recommended for treating Parkinson's disease. MAOIs inhibit the activity of monoamine oxidase, an enzyme that breaks down dopamine in the brain. By inhibiting the monoamine oxidase enzyme, MAOIs delay the breakdown of naturally occurring dopamine and dopamine formed from levodopa. This can result in mild relief of Parkinson's disease symptoms.
MAOIs approved for treating Parkinson's disease include:
MAOIs are especially prone to serious food and drug interactions, especially when taken at high doses.