Unlike the dopamine replacement group of medications, these medications aren’t converted into dopamine in the brain. Instead these drugs mimic the effects of dopamine by binding to the same receptors of the brain – essentially tricking the brain into thinking dopamine is at work.
Similar to dopamine replacement this group of medications treat only the motor symptoms although not as well, of Parkinson’s. They do not address the non-motor manifestations of this disease.
Dopamine agonists may be used on their own as an initial treatment or may be combined with other Parkinson’s medications. There are a few advantages when used in combination with levodopa.
Although like so many other medications, dopamine agonists fail to treat the complete myriad of symptoms that are manifested in Parkinson’s disease and the side effects can limit their use, they do provide another option to try and manage the symptoms we experience.
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