Compare Apokyn vs. Duopa

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Apokyn
(apomorphine)

Duopa
(carbidopa / levodopa)

Helps you move around. Apokyn (apomorphine) is good for treating the "off" episodes or difficulty moving around when you have advanced Parkinson's disease, but it can cause vomiting and sudden sleepiness.Treats advanced stages of Parkinson's disease. Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) pumps carbidopa/levodopa into your body throughout the day. It is reserved for advanced Parkinson's disease when your symptoms become more frequent than the dosing of your tablets.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Apokyn (apomorphine)?
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Have you used Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa)?
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Side effects
ApokynDuopa
  • Yawning 40%
  • Movement problems 24%
  • Drowsiness or sleepiness 35%
  • Nausea or vomiting 19%
  • Dizziness 20%
  • Runny nose 20%
  • Chest pain 15%
  • Hallucinations 10%
  • Swelling in arms and legs 10%
More Apokyn side effects »
  • Problems with J-tube 56%
  • Nausea 30%
  • Constipation 22%
  • Redness and swelling at the J-tube site 19%
  • Difficulty controlling movements 14%
  • Depression 11%
  • Discharge at the J-tube site 11%
  • Swelling in the arms and legs 8%
  • High blood pressure 8%
  • Flu and cold 8%
More Duopa side effects »
How it works
ApokynDuopa
Apokyn (apomorphine) is a non-ergoline dopamine agonist. Apokyn (apomorphine) allows you to move around more freely by stimulating the brain's ability to use dopamine, which is important for movement.Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) is a combination of carbidopa and levodopa. Carbidopa allows levodopa to enter the brain and relieve symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
Type of medication
ApokynDuopa
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ApokynDuopa
  • Injection
  • Liquid
Used for
ApokynDuopa
Risk factors for serious side effects
ApokynDuopa
  • Taking antipsychotic medicines
  • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
  • History of heart disease or stroke
Detailed Apokyn (apomorphine) risks & warnings »
  • Surgery to place the J-tube
  • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's
  • Stopping Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) suddenly
  • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
Detailed Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Pain
ApokynDuopa
No pain related info.
  • Call your doctor right away if you start having stomach pains around where the pump is connected.
Sleep
ApokynDuopa
  • Apokyn (apomorphine) can make you sleepy or fall asleep suddenly without warning. Don't drive or do anything that requires your full concentration until you know how Apokyn (apomorphine) affects you. You're more at risk if you're taking other medicines for Parkinson's. Talk to your doctor if this bothers you.
  • Apokyn (apomorphine) can make you sleepy or fall asleep without warning. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) can make you very sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires your full concentration until you know how Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) affects you. You're more at risk if you're taking other medicines for Parkinson's. Talk to your doctor if this bothers you.
  • Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) can make you very sleepy. Don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how it affects you.
Upsides and benefits
ApokynDuopa
  • Preferred drug according to the guidelines to treat the "off" periods or inability to control movements well that's associated with Parkinson's.
  • People respond to the injection of Apokyn (apomorphine) very quickly and this response can last longer than other medicines.
  • Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) allows you to have better control of your symptoms than oral tablets, especially in later stages of Parkinson's disease.
Downsides and risks
ApokynDuopa
  • Can cause vomiting and sudden sleepiness. Your doctor will have to give you a medicine to stop the vomiting from happening.
  • Apokyn (apomorphine) should only be used if you have an "off" period of moving around. You should keep using your other medicines for your Parkinson's.
  • Dosing can be confusing since the pen only dispenses in milliliters, and there have been reports of people getting overdoses of Apokyn (apomorphine) because they thought it was for milligrams.
  • Stopping Apokyn (apomorphine) suddenly or lowering the dose too quickly can cause your muscles to become very stiff and you might get a very high fever, which can be life threatening. Talk to your doctor if you want to stop taking this medicine.
  • Given via pump so you'll need to have a procedure to attach the pump to your body.
  • You'll need to take good care of the pump so that it doesn't get disconnected or infected.
  • Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) only lasts for 16 hours. You may need to take an extra dose of carbidopa/levodopa as tablet for nighttime control.
  • You need to keep Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) in a fridge, but it should sit at room temperature 20 minutes before infusion.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ApokynDuopa
  • Apokyn (apomorphine) can cause nausea, so your doctor will give you medicine to help stop that and vomiting.
  • Your doctor will tell you how much Apokyn (apomorphine) you will inject. This is given in milliliters. Turn the pen so that the correct dose is given.
  • Apokyn (apomorphine) can make you sleepy or fall asleep without warning. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Always change where you inject Apokyn (apomorphine) and always use a fresh needle every time. This will make injecting safer and less painful.
  • If the liquid inside the Apokyn (apomorphine) cartridge does not look clear and colorless, don't use it. Use a new cartridge or call your pharmacy.
  • Can cause you to feel faint, especially if you get up after sitting or lying down for a while. Be careful moving around after you use Apokyn (apomorphine) so you don't fall.
  • Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) is given via pump. You need to have a minor procedure to connect the pump to your body.
  • You may still need to take carbidopa/levodopa in tablet form at night or if the pump disconnects.
  • Call your doctor right away if you start having stomach pains around where the pump is connected.
  • Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) is only good for 16 hours. Throw out the cassette when the infusion is done even if there's still medicine left inside.
  • Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) can make you very sleepy. Don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Don't stop taking Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) suddenly. It can be very dangerous. Talk to your doctor if you want to stop taking Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa).
Learn more
More about ApokynSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Apokyn (apomorphine)?
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More about DuopaSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it