medicationEvery person with Parkinson’s disease experiences a unique set of symptoms and rate of progression. It may come as no surprise that the medication that people with Parkinson’s use will vary as well. People may start medications at different times than others, and they may start on different medications.

Common Parkinson’s medications

  • Levodopa/Carbidopa (Sinemet, Stalevo)
  • Mono-Amine Oxidase Inhibitors (Azilect, Zelapar)
  • Dopamine agonists (Mirapex, Requip)
  • Anticholinergics (Artane, Cogentin)
  • Amantadine (Symmetrel)
  • Beta-blocking agents
  • COMT Inhibitors (Tasmar, Comtan)
  • Rytary     NEW!

Each medication acts differently and has its own potential side effects. Anytime you receive a new prescription, be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist about all other medications (prescription and over-the-counter), vitamins and supplements you take!

The following information about safe vs. unsafe medication comes from the Parkinson’s Handbook, a publication of by The American Parkinson’s Disease Association (APDA).

Safe Medications: Medications to Avoid:
Quetiapine (Seroquel ®), clozapine (Clozaril) Avoid all other typical and atypical anti-psychotics
Most are safe to use, but narcotic medications may cause confusion/psychosis and constipation If patient is taking MAOB inhibitor such  as selegiline or rasagiline (Azilect®), avoid meperidine (Demerol®)
Request a consult with the anesthesiologist, surgeon and Parkinson’s doctor to determine best anesthesia given your Parkinson’s symptom and medications If patient is taking MAOB inhibitor such as selegiline or rasagiline (Azilect®), avoid: meperidine (Demerol®), tramadol (Rybix®, Ryzolt®, Ultram®), droperidol (Inapsine®), methadone (Dolophine®, Methadose®), propoxyphene (Darvon® , PP-Cap®), cyclobenzaprine (Amrix®, Fexmid® , Flexeril®), halothane (Fluothane®)
Domperidone (Motilium®), trimethobenzamide (Tigan® , ondansetron (Zofran®), dolasetron (Anzemet ®), granisetron (Kytril® ) prochlormethazine (Compazine®), metoclopramide (Reglan®), promethazine (Phenergan® , droperidol (Inapsine®)
Fluoxetine (Prozac® ), sertraline (Zoloft® ), paroxetine (Paxil®), citalopram (Celexa®), escitalopram (Lexapro®), venlafaxine (Effexor® ) amoxapine (Asendin® )

We have printed a card for your wallet listing these medications so you can carry the information at all times. If you’d like one, call our Information and Referrals department at (858) 273-6763, (877) 737-7576 (toll-free) , or e-mail your request along with your postal mailing address to

Prescriptions for Parkinson’s medications can be costly. Consider asking your doctor about generic medications. Many medicines (but not all) may be available to you through prescription assistance programs.