Safety overview of FDA-approved medications for the treatment of the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease

Michele A. Faulkner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Introduction: Parkinson's disease (PD) is among the most common of the neurodegenerative disorders. Treatment is primarily focused on correcting neurotransmitter imbalances. Several classes of medication are available for this purpose.Areas covered: A Medline search was performed to gather information about the safety of the medications approved for the treatment of the motor symptoms of PD. This was supplemented with additional articles obtained from online sources and information provided by the FDA and the manufacturers. The focus of this review is the side-effect and safety profiles of carbidopa/levodopa, dopamine agonists, selective monoamine oxidase inhibitors, catechol-o-methyltransferase inhibitors, anticholinergics and amantadine.Expert opinion: Though serious side-effects may occur, as a group, the medications used for the treatment of PD motor symptoms tend to produce side-effects that are mild to moderate in nature, and that primarily reflect the focus on dopaminergic therapies. Care plans for Parkinson's patients should be approached based on the needs of the individual as disease presentation, lifestyle, level of disability, concurrent disease states and the presence of non-motor symptoms make each case unique. Patients and caregivers must have realistic expectations about the use of PD medications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1055-1069
Number of pages15
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Safety
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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