Sunday, March 3, 2024

Drugs That Cause Parkinson Like Symptoms

Who Are At Risk Of Developing Drug Included Parkinsonism

‘Wearing Off’ – Why we need better Parkinson’s drugs

Some patients may be at a higher risk of developing medication-induced Parkinson

ism than others. Some of the risks include-

Women: Women are seen to be two times as much at risk of having drug inducing Parkinsons disease than men.

AIDS Patients: People with AIDS are at a higher risk.

Family History: Patients having a family history Parkinsons disease are at a higher risk of having drug induced Parkinsonism.

Elderly: Since elder people are usually on multiple medicines, they are at risk of having drug induced Parkinsonism.

How To Avoid Dip

The incidence rate of DIP has proved difficult to assess, due to the prevalence of misdiagnosis as PD. Older people and women are at higher risk of DIP, and genetic factors may also play a role.2

The only way to develop DIP is by taking a prescription drug that impacts the brains dopamine system. If you dont take those drugs, you cannot develop it.

Unfortunately, in some cases, DIP is misdiagnosed as PD. Researchers discovered that 6.8% of patients diagnosed with PD were later reclassified as having DIP.3 This mistake is particularly harmful since doctors may prescribe drugs to manage PD symptoms instead of stopping the drug thats causing DIP.

Discontinuing the responsible drug most often ends DIP. However, in some cases, the symptoms persist. In others, the parkinsonism continues to worsen along a track consistent with PD. Researchers have postulated that in these cases the drugs unmasked PD, which may have otherwise gone unexpressed.

Synopsis

If you dont take a prescription drug that causes DIP, then you cannot develop it. People experiencing DIP can usually end it by discontinuing the medication that caused it, but for some people, the symptoms persist or worsen.

A Critical Reappraisal Of The Worst Drugs In Parkinsons Disease

What are the worst drugs for Parkinsons disease patients? Couldnt a simple list be assembled and disseminated to the Parkinson community? Recently Ed Steinmetz, an experienced neurologist in Ft. Meyers, FL pointed out to me, a list approach published in the Public Citizen Newsletter . The approach was to list every drug associated with a single confirmed or unconfirmed symptom of Parkinsons disease or parkinsonism. Parkinsons disease is defined as a neurodegenerative syndrome , whereas parkinsonism encompasses a wider net of drug induced and other potential causes. In parkinsonism symptoms are similar to Parkinsons disease, but patients do not have Parkinsons disease. Patients and family members confronted with a simple drug list approach may falsely conclude that most medicines are bad for Parkinsons disease, and that any medicine may cause parkinsonism. This concept is in general, incorrect. Although the approach is well-meaning, it is in need of a major revision, as Parkinsons disease and parkinsonism are too complex to summarize by simple lists. In this months column I will try to summarize the key information that patients and family members need to know about the worst pills, for Parkinsons disease and parkinsonism.

A Florida Parkinsons Treatment Blog by Michael S. Okun, M.D.

UF Center for Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration, Gainesville FL

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Whats The Difference Between Drug

Parkinsons is a progressive disorder, which will become worse over time, while DIP does not. In DIP, Parkinson-like symptoms can begin within four days to one month of starting the medication. However, all the symptoms could completely subside once the effecting medication is stopped, though it may take up to 18 months for all the symptoms to subside.

For more information on drug-induced parkinsonism, read this journal article and/or information sheet.

What Is Parkinsonism Characterized By

Managing Common Parkinsons Symptoms

Parkinsonism is characterized by the loss of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate movement.

Without dopamine, a person will experience the symptoms of bradykinesia, rigidity, and tremors that are characteristic of Parkinsonism.

The exact cause of the damage to dopamine-producing cells is unknown and likely differs from person to person.

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What Are The Causes

Drug-induced parkinsonism is caused by medications that reduce dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that works to control bodily movements.

Dopamine is also part of the brains reward system. It helps you feel pleasure and enjoyment, and it supports your ability to learn and focus.

Medications that bind to and block dopamine receptors are called dopamine antagonists. These medications arent used to treat Parkinsons disease. Rather, theyre used to treat other conditions that might seriously impact your quality of life.

If your doctor has prescribed a medication that causes unwanted side effects, you may have options. You may also decide that the side effects are worth it if the medication effectively treats your condition.

Some medications that cause drug-induced parkinsonism include:

Finding The Right Medication

Finding the right medication to treat your Parkinson’s symptoms is a process that takes time and effort from you and your doctor. Parkinson’s medications work in different ways. Many are pills that you swallow, but some can be given through skin patches or intestinal infusions. It can sometimes feel like “trial and error” to figure out the best medication, dose and schedule to treat your symptoms. Over time, as symptoms progress or complications arise, your doctor may adjust your medications. This might mean changing your dose or how often you take a drug, or adding or switching medications. Staying in tune with your symptoms and which are most bothersome, and keeping track of how well medication is or is not working can help direct adjustments to your treatment regimen.

Here we describe the different categories of Parkinson’s medications how they work, their potential benefits and common side effects. We also give examples and highlight therapies that have been approved in the last few years with an asterisk.

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Common Drugs For Parkinson’s Disease

Levodopa and carbidopa . Levodopa is the most commonly prescribed medicine for Parkinsonâs. Itâs also the best at controlling the symptoms of the condition, particularly slow movements and stiff, rigid body parts.

Levodopa works when your brain cells change it into dopamine. Thatâs a chemical the brain uses to send signals that help you move your body. People with Parkinsonâs donât have enough dopamine in their brains to control their movements.

Sinemet is a mix of levodopa and another drug called carbidopa. Carbidopa makes the levodopa work better, so you can take less of it. That prevents many common side effects of levodopa, such as nausea, vomiting, and irregular heart rhythms.

Sinemet has the fewest short-term side effects, compared with other Parkinsonâs medications. But it does raise your odds for some long-term problems, such as involuntary movements. An inhalable powder form of levodopa and the tablet istradefylline have been approved for those experiencing OFF periods, OFF periods can happen when Parkinsonâs symptoms return during periods between scheduled doses of levodopa/carbidopa.

People who take levodopa for 3-5 years may eventually have restlessness, confusion, or unusual movements within a few hours of taking the medicine. Changes in the amount or timing of your dose will usually prevent these side effects.

Dopamine agonists. These drugs act like dopamine in the brain. They include pramipexole , rotigotine , and ropinirole , .

Antipsychotics Are Dopamine Blocking Drugs

Parkinson’s Disease – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

A few people develop Parkinsons disease like symptoms after they undergo treatment with specific type of medicines. This type of medicine refers to drug-induced Parkinsonism or DIP i.e. secondary type of Parkinsonism. Specific medicines, including antipsychotics may make the symptoms worse in patients, who already suffer from Parkinsons disease.

Almost every medicine responsible to create blockage of dopamine in humans may create symptoms related to Parkinsons disease. Dopamine refers to a brain chemical that mainly controls body movements. Antipsychotics are common types of dopamine blocking drugs, which are useful in the treatment of specific mental illnesses or nausea in its severe form. In less common cases, calcium channel blockers medicines may result in drug induced Parkinsonism. These drugs are helpful in the treatment of high blood pressure, chest pain as well as irregular heart beat rate.

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Antipsychotic Drugs Called Neuroleptics

Drug-induced parkinsonism is due primarily to drugs that block dopamine receptors, particularly the D2 receptors . These drugs are most often the antipsychotic drugs, called neuroleptics, such as haloperidol, chlorpromazine, and trifluoperazine, but include metoclopramide, a gastrointestinal motility enhancer, and the antiemetics prochlorperazine and droperidol. In addition, medications that block synthesis of dopamine, such as alpha-methyl para-tyrosine and alpha-methyl dopa or deplete dopamine also induce parkinsonism. In these cases the pathophysiology is presumably due to diminished dopamine receptor stimulation, resulting in a pharmacologic state closely resembling Parkinson disease.

However, the atypical antipsychotics also block D2 receptors. Yet there is no apparent correlation between the degree of this blockade and the risk for inducing parkinsonism. The explanation for this is uncertain. One current hypothesis is the fast off theory, postulating that the duration of the D2 blockade, rather than the percentage of receptors blocked, determines the likelihood of parkinsonism . A competing theory is that the ratio of 5 HT-2a receptor blockade versus the dopamine D2 receptor blockade is critical because of the interplay between the serotonin and dopamine systems in the brain. An older theory relating extrapyramidal side effects to anticholinergic activity is considered untenable because the concomitant use of anticholinergics does not eliminate the problem.

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Which Age Group Is Parkinsonism More Prevalent In

There is more data on the incidence of Parkinsons disease than there is for Parkinsonism. The incidence of Parkinsons disease increases with age, and the diagnosis is more likely in older populations.

About 4% of people with Parkinsons disease will be diagnosed before they turn 50 years old.

What To Do If Your Senior Has Parkinsons

Pharmacology

If you notice Parkinsons-like symptoms in your older adult, the first thing to do is talk with their doctor. The doctor should review their complete medication history and you should let them know about any other symptoms or changes.

Important: Dont make any changes to medications without doctor approval that could cause serious problems.

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Whats The Difference Between Multiple System Atrophy And Parkinsons

Parkinsons and MSA both affect the movement control system and the involuntary autonomic control system and early symptoms can make a differential diagnosis a challenge. MSA, however, tends to progress faster than Parkinsons balance problems and a stooped posture happen earlier and get worse more quickly with MSA and autonomic functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, sweating, bladder function, and sexual problems are more severe in people with MSA.

For more information on multiple symptom atrophy, read this fact sheet.

Cholinesterase Inhibitors Widely Used To Treat Dementia

Cholinesterase inhibitors, widely used to treat dementia, may cause worsened parkinsonism, primarily increased tremor . Large double-blind trials of rivastigmine, a cholinesterase-inhibiting drug, in both dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson disease dementia have demonstrated that rivastigmine is well tolerated without significant worsening of motor function overall, although tremor may increase . The other cholinesterase inhibitors have been less well studied but appear to have similar benefits and side effects.

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Conditions That Can Cause Tremors Besides Parkinsons:

The tremor of Parkinsons disease occurs even at rest. Hence it is called a rest tremor. Very few other conditions produce rest tremor.

But, many other diseases produce a tremor which is seen only when moving, for example when writing. This is called an Action tremor or posturokinetic tremor. Even these diseases are sometimes misdiagnosed as Parkinsons disease.

Causes of Rest Tremor

2. Excessive stress, coffee or smoking

3. Medications such as bronchodilators, valproate and lamotrigine

4. Chromosomal problems such as Fragile-X syndrome

5. Parkinsons disease itself!

And many others

Diagnosis Of Dip And The Role Of Dat Imaging

Parkinsonism symptoms in 60 seconds

The clinical diagnostic criteria for DIP are defined as 1) the presence of parkinsonism, 2) no history of parkinsonism before the use of the offending drug, and 3) onset of parkinsonian symptoms during use of the offending drug. Since asymmetrical rest tremors are common in many DIP patients and symptoms persist or progress after cessation of the offending drug, patients clinically diagnosed with DIP may include individuals in the preclinical stage of PD whose symptoms were unmasked by the drug.,,,

DATs are presynaptic proteins in the membrane on terminals of dopaminergic neurons. They take up dopamine from the synaptic cleft projections that extend from the substantia nigra to the striatum. These transporters control dopaminergic transmission by spatial and temporal buffering, rendering the molecule an imaging target in diseases affecting the dopaminergic nigrostriatal pathway. Single-photon-emission computed tomography and positron-emission tomography scans are available using several DAT ligands., SPECT radioligands include 123I-N-3-fluoropropyl-2-carbomethoxy-3-nortropane , 123I-ioflupane, DaTSCAN, and 123I-2-carbomethoxy-3-tropane . PET scans may be superior to SPECT for imaging DATs, in that the lower energy of positrons provides higher resolution, resulting in better image quality with widespread clinical applications. However, most DAT imaging studies, including those in patients with DIP, have utilized SPECT.,-

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How Parkinsonism Differs From Parkinsons Disease

Parkinsons disease is one of many types of parkinsonism. Its caused by a loss of cells in the part of your brain that produces the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Parkinsons disease and the different types of parkinsonism progress in different ways. Some may progress more rapidly than Parkinsons disease. Others, like secondary parkinsonism, may be reversible.

The conditions also respond differently to treatments. For instance, someone who has a type of parkinsonism may not respond to the drug levodopa, which is commonly used for Parkinsons disease.

It can be hard to tell the difference between types of parkinsonism. Heres a look at some of the identified categories of parkinsonism with their typical symptoms and treatments.

  • involuntary muscle contractions

Treatment

No treatment has been found to slow the progression of corticobasal syndrome. Parkinsons drugs are generally ineffective but may help manage stiffness in some people.

How Do Doctors Diagnose Parkinsonism

No single test exists for doctors to diagnose Parkinsonism.

A doctor will start by taking a persons health history and review their current symptoms. They will ask for a medication list to determine if any medicines could be causing the symptoms.

A doctor will likely also order blood testing to check for underlying potential causes, such as thyroid or liver problems. A doctor will also order imaging scans to examine the brain and body for other causes, such as a brain tumor.

Doctors can perform a test that tracks the movement of dopamine in the brain. This is known as the DaT-SPECT test.

The test uses radioactive markers designed to track dopamine in the brain. This allows a doctor to watch the release of dopamine in a persons brain and identify the areas of the brain that do or do not receive it.

Because Parkinsonism does not respond to typical treatments and can have a variety of symptoms, doctors can have difficulty coming to a quick diagnosis. It may take time for doctors to rule out other conditions and begin to make treatment recommendations.

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Some Cases Of Parkinsonism Can Be Reversed Others Cannot

In most cases, drug-induced parkinsonism can be reversed once the medication causing the problem is eliminated. However, it can take some time for an individual to return to normal. Depending on the medication and its effects, it can take anywhere from 4-18 months for DIP to resolve itself. In some cases, however, parkinsonism may continue even after the medication has been stopped for more than 18 months. This happens when an individual already has a dopamine deficit that was not caused by the medication. In these cases, that individual was already going to develop PD at some point, however DIP accelerated the process.

Dr. Kashouty, a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology , practices general neurology with fellowship trained specialization in clinical neurophysiology. Dr. Kashouty finds the form and function of the nerves and muscles the most interesting part of neurology, which is what led him to specialize in neurophysiology with more emphasis on neuromuscular conditions. He treats all neurological diseases, but his main focus is to treat and manage headaches, movement disorders and neuromuscular diseases.

Common Symptoms Of Drug

PARKINSONS DISEASE

The motor features of PD are often very easy to see via a neurologic exam in a doctors office. Rest tremor for example, is seen in virtually no other illness and can therefore be very important in diagnosing PD. But there is one other common condition that induces the symptoms of PD, including a rest tremor, which must be considered every time PD is being considered as a diagnosis, and that is drug-induced parkinsonism.

Parkinsonism is not technically a diagnosis, but rather a set of symptoms including slowness, stiffness, rest tremor, and problems with walking and balance. This set of symptoms can be caused by PD, but also can occur as a side effect of certain prescription medications .

A number of medications can cause parkinsonism because they block the dopamine receptor and thereby mimic the symptoms of PD that are caused by loss of dopamine neurons in the brain. Reviewing a patients medications is therefore a critical step for a neurologist when seeing someone with parkinsonism. Anti-psychotics and anti-nausea treatments make up the bulk of the problematic medications, although there are other medications that can also cause parkinsonism. The primary treatment for this type of parkinsonism is weaning off of the offending medication, if possible.

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