There are no drugs available for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The drugs on the market serve to ameliorate the motor symptoms of the disease. The dosage, intensity, and treatment varies from one patient to another depending on the patient's age, symptoms, and existence of other preexisting medical conditions. Parkinson’s drug treatment is also largely experimental and is subjected to frequent changes.
The top five drugs for Parkinson's disease include:
1. The most popular Parkinson’s disease drug is Levadopa. It has been in existence for almost 30 years now. Sinemet and Madopar are two versions of the same Parkinson’s disease drug. Sinemet is a combination of two Parkinson’s disease drugs namely Levadopa and Carbidopa. Levadopa is converted to dopamine in the brain. Carbidopa blocks the metabolism of Levadopa in the liver which decreases some of the side effects. Side-effects of this particular Parkinson’s drug treatment include nausea, low blood pressure, and dyskineasis (abnormal movement).
2. The second category of Parkinson’s disease drugs, collectively known as dopamine antagonists, is a drug that mimics the action of dopamine in the brain. These Parkinson’s disease drugs include Bromocriptine (brand name- Parlodel), Pramipexole (brand name- Mirapex), and Ropinirole (brand name-Requip). The side effects brought about by this category of Parkinson’s disease drugs are almost identical to that of Levadopa.
3. The third top category of Parkinson’s disease drugs includes Seligiline and Rasagiline. These Parkinson’s disease drugs are also commonly known as MAO-B Inhibitors. These medications increase the level of dopamine in the brain. These Parkinson’s disease drugs may not be as effective as the first two categories of drugs. They may also have more side effects.
4. The fourth category of Parkinson’s disease drugs is called Anticholinergic. These Parkinson’s disease drugs reduce the relative activity of an opposing neurotransmitter called acetylcholine thereby increasing the sensitivity for dopamine activity in the basal ganglia. This Parkinson’s disease drug works remarkably well for tremors that accompany the disease as one of the chief symptoms. The various anticholinergic are Benztropine mesylate, Biperiden, Diphenhydramine, and Trihyxyphenidyl.
5. The fifth category of Parkinson’s drug treatment involves a particular category of drugs known as COMT Inhibitors. These drugs make an increased amount of Levodopa available to the brain by inhibiting an enzyme naturally present in the body called COMT. Entacapone, Tasmar, and Stalevoa are some of the well-known COMT Inhibitors.
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