Compare Apokyn vs. Rytary

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

Apokyn
(apomorphine)

Rytary
(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 Parkinson's disease. Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) can be used to treat Parkinson's disease, but it can be expensive.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Apokyn (apomorphine)?
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Have you used Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa)?
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Side effects
ApokynRytary
  • 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 »
  • Nausea 5%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Dry mouth 2%
  • Abnormal dreams 2%
  • Difficulty controlling movements 2%
  • Anxiety 2%
  • Constipation 1%
More Rytary side effects »
How it works
ApokynRytary
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.Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) is a combination of carbidopa and levodopa. Levodopa enters the brain and relieves the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Carbidopa prevents levodopa from being broken down before it can enter the brain.
Type of medication
ApokynRytary
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ApokynRytary
  • Injection
  • Extended release capsule
Used for
ApokynRytary
Risk factors for serious side effects
ApokynRytary
  • Taking antipsychotic medicines
  • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
  • History of heart disease or stroke
Detailed Apokyn (apomorphine) risks & warnings »
  • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
  • Stopping Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) suddenly
  • History of heart attack
  • High risk for heart attack
Detailed Rytary (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.

Sleep
ApokynRytary
  • 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.
  • Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) can make you sleepy or fall asleep suddenly without warning. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) affects you. You're more at risk if you're taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease. Talk to your doctor if this bothers you.
Upsides and benefits
ApokynRytary
  • 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.
  • Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) comes in 4 different strengths.
  • If you have private prescription insurance, there are programs to make Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) more affordable.
Downsides and risks
ApokynRytary
  • 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.
  • There are other forms of Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) that are generic and much cheaper.
  • Your doctor might have to change the dose of Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) often before they find a dose that works for you.
  • Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) can cause uncontrollable movements to happen, but this doesn't happen for 3 to 5 years.
  • Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) is not a cure for Parkinson's disease; it can only slow the disease down.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ApokynRytary
  • 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.
  • If you can't swallow the capsules whole, they can be sprinkled on 1 to 2 tablespoons of applesauce. You have to take it right away.
  • Don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) affects you.
  • You can't switch off other forms of carbidopa/levodopa to Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) without talking to your doctor or pharmacist. They'll tell you how to do it safely.
Learn more
More about ApokynSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Apokyn (apomorphine)?
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More about RytarySide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa)?
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