While there is no cure for Parkinson's disease (PD), symptoms can be treated with medications. There is no “right” answer as to when you should start or adjust your medication regimen. Work with your movement disorder specialist or neurologist along the way. Here are some resources to understand medication options and how to manage medications.
Published by American Parkinson Disease Association, Updated 2015
This 2-page PDF lists all the medications available in the US for the treatment of PD. Listed are the generic name, brand name, mode of action, and common side effects.
En Español: Lista de Medicamentos Aprobados en Estados Unidos para el Tratamiento de la Enfermedad de Parkinson
Published by the National Parkinson Foundation (Now the Parkinson's Foundation), 2017
This 44-page book (PDF) explains why symptoms may get better and worse throughout the day and how to treat an scope with them. Find answers and read tips and stories that can help.
Published by American Parkinson Disease Association, Revised July 2012
This 6-page educational supplement (PDF) reviews the six categories of medications used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's.
Published by the National Parkinson Foundation (Now the Parkinson's Foundation), Revised 2016
This 80-page booklet reviews medications for motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms. Plus it discusses the idea that "exercise is medicine" and has a chapter on complementary therapies.
En Español: Medicamentos para la Enfermedad de Parkinson
Published by American Parkinson Disease Association
This short webpage lists some considerations involved in medication decisions.
Published by the Parkinson's Disease Foundation (Now the Parkinson's Foundation), March 11, 2014
In this one-hour webinar, movement disorder specialist Sotirios Parashos, MD, PhD reviews the motor symptoms of Parkinson's, such as tremor, bradykinesia, and dystonia. He also explains how medications work to ease these symptoms.
Published by the Parkinson's Disease Foundation (Now the Parkinson's Foundation), April 28, 2015
In this one-hour Expert Briefing webinar, movement disorder specialist Connie Marras, MD, PhD reviews the classes of medication for PD and explains what effects (good and bad) can be expected from them. She also discusses how to maximize the effectiveness of PD medications and minimize the side effects.
By Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario, February 19, 2020
This one-hour webinar on drug therapy in Parkinson’s disease (PD) featured speaker Greta Mah, a clinical pharmacist in Canada. She provided a general overview of medications used in PD within the US as well as in Canada, describing the main categories of drug therapy often used in PD, which may be a helpful refresher for some readers. We at Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach listened to the webinar and are sharing our notes. Note there is a recording error. Audio begins three minutes into the webinar.
Webinar Notes on the Stanford PD Community Blog
Published by the Veteran's Administration
This 8-minute video alternates between an interview with a man and his wife and doctors. The man and his wife share how medications controll his Parkinson's symptoms. The doctors explain how Parkinson's symptoms are controlled by dopamine replacement therapy, "On" and "Off" periods, the importance of taking medications on time every day and medication side effects.
By Jasmine Sturr on YouTube, May 20, 2016.
This 26-minute video is a comprehensive overview of parkinson’s medications. Ms. Sturr was diagnosed with Juvenile Parkinson’s. She has a bachelor’s in chemistry. This video is a guide for patients to understand the options, how they work, and why your doctor is prescribing them.
Published by the Parkinson’s Foundation, April 14, 2020
In just over an hour movement disorder specialist Dr. Fernando Pagan outlines what we know about epidemiology, causes, risk factors, incidences, genetics, DaTScan imaging, etc. about Parkinson’s disease (PD), before going into great detail about medication treatment options. There is brief mention about DBS and the future of Parkinson’s therapies.
Published by Parkinson Association of the Rockies, May 7, 2020
In this nearly 2-hour webinar, movement disorder specialist Dr. Luisa Solis-Cohen does a deep dive into the different types of medications used to treat Parkinson’s and how they work within the body.
Published by Panorama Patient Network, 2017
In this 12-minute video, neurologist Matthew Stern, MD, explains how Parkinson’s disease is often best treated with a mix of medications. Using low doses minimizes the risk of long-term side effects. In the second half of the video, neurologist Susan Fox, PhD, discusses the importance of lifestyle in dealing with Parkinson’s disease, emphasizing the importance of sleep and exercise.
Published by the American Parkinson Disease Association, May 8, 2017
In this 1-hour webinar Dr. David Standaert starts with the basics of PD before giving a good update on cutting-edge medications and DBS therapies for the management of Parkinson’s disease. He introduces newly approved medications for motor fluctuation, orthostatic hypotension and hallucinations, and new DBS technology for tremor. Finally getting in to what’s coming soon, and the direction of several avenues of research into slowing and/or stopping disease progression.
Published by Panorama Patient Network, 2017
In this 10-minute video, neurologist Matthew Stern, MD, talks with a patient about how to minimize motor fluctuations by fine-tuning low-dose medications. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is also mentioned.
APDA Upper Midwest Chapter, November 20, 2020
On the Day 2 video of the Upper Midwest Parkinson's Symposium, at timestamp 2:45, you will find a one-hour talk by movement disorders specialist Dr. Lynn Struck. She gives a quick summary of every medication related to treatment of Parkinson's symptoms, including the mechanism of operation, what it is best used for, side effects, and dosages. If you have ever been confused about why you are taking one thing and another person with PD is taking something different, watch this webinar!
Last updated August 2020 by Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach.