Parkinson’s Disease: Understanding Your Medications
Medicines are key to treating Parkinson’s. You may be prescribed one or more medicines. Be sure you know the names of your medicines and when and how to take them. Ask your healthcare provider what side effects you might expect. Also ask if you should avoid eating certain foods or drinking alcohol.
Types of medicines*
How they help
Levodopa combined with carbidopa
Levodopa replaces missing dopamine. Carbidopa helps levodopa enter the brain with fewer side effects.
Pramipexole, bromocriptine, ropinirole, rotigotine
Imitate the way dopamine works in the brain.
Help dopamine work longer.
Entacapone, combination of carbidopa, levodopa, and entacapone
Taken with levodopa. Help dopamine enter the brain and work longer.
Reduce involuntary movements and tremors.
*This chart is not a complete list of Parkinson’s medicines. It does not include all side effects or adverse reactions. It does not include all interactions or precautions for these drugs. Only a doctor can recommend or prescribe these medicines.
The list of medicines does not include medicines that may treat other symptoms of Parkinson disease such as depression, psychosis, urinary symptoms, and others.