Tuesday, August 16, 2022

What Are The Side Effects Of Parkinson’s Disease

Thanks For Signing Up

What are the most common side effects of Parkinson’s disease medications?

We are proud to have you as a part of our community. To ensure you receive the latest Parkinsons news, research updates and more, please check your email for a message from us. If you do not see our email, it may be in your spam folder. Just mark as not spam and you should receive our emails as expected.

Q: Are There Any Studies Of The Long

A: A recent study examined post-COVID symptoms in a small number of PD patients. Among the symptoms that persisted after COVID infection included worsening of motor function, increased levodopa daily dose requirements, fatigue, cognitive disturbances, and sleep disturbances. More research will need to be done to corroborate and expand on these findings.

Some Disadvantages Of Comt Inhibitors

These drugs can increase the side effects caused by levodopa, notably dyskinesias , nausea and vomiting.

If these side effects increase after starting the drug, people should raise the issue with their healthcare professional, as reducing the levodopa dose can often help.

COMT inhibtors will discolour urine making it a reddish-brown colour. Some people also experience diarrhoea which may occur some months after commencing the medication.

Be aware that other drugs for Parkinsons or other conditions can affect the action of COMT inhibitors. The combination of apomorphine and entacapone needs careful supervision.

Also Check: Signs Of Parkinson’s Disease

Dopamine Agonist Withdrawal Syndrome

If you suddenly stop taking dopamine agonists, this can lead to dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome, which can cause symptoms such as depression, anxiety or pain.

Any withdrawal from Parkinsons drugs needs to be done in a tapered way, under the supervision of a health professional.

Speak to your specialist for advice.

Q Is There Any Research Into New Treatments

Parkinson

A. Embryonic stem cell transplantation is one of a number of potential treatments for Parkinsons disease that are being investigated. Embryonic stem cells have the potential to develop into any type of human cell, including dopamine-producing nerve cells. These cells could potentially be transplanted into the brains of people with Parkinsons disease, as a replacement for their lost nerve cells.

Gene therapy and novel drug treatments are also being actively investigated.

With continued research, improved treatment options and even a cure for Parkinsons disease may not be too far away.

Read Also: Young Onset Parkinson’s Life Expectancy

Q Other Than Difficulties With Movement Are There Any Other Physical Symptoms

A. Other problems so called non-motor symptoms are common and can have a major effect on quality of life. These symptoms can occur at any stage of the condition and can even start before movement symptoms are noticed.

Non-motor symptoms include:

  • sensory symptoms , which occur in up to 40 per cent of people with the disease
  • tiredness not relieved by resting
  • sleep problems , which affect about 70 per cent of people
  • constipation, which is due to the digestive tract slowing down and decreased mobility
  • bladder problems that can result in needing to urinate urgently and/or more often, urinary incontinence or difficulty urinating
  • orthostatic hypotension , which causes a sudden fall in blood pressure when changing positions usually standing up causing fainting and
  • depression and anxiety, which are not just due to having a chronic illness but are part of the disorder.

Constipation , urinary problems and sleep problems can be made worse by some of the medicines used to treat Parkinsons disease.

Drugs To Treat Parkinsons Disease

Study conducted by medical researchers have compared two drugs named Levodopa and Pramipexole, which is employed generally as the first treatment line associated with the parkinsons disease problem. These drugs use various mechanisms to counteract with declining in the dopamine production in human brain, which is a result of progressive cell loss to secrete neuro chemicals in human brain. Levodopa is a type of amino acid, which human body metabolizes to form dopamine. On the other side, Pramipexole is a type of dopamine agonist, which binds with dopamine receptors present on cells in human brain and mimics the molecular function associated with the chemical.

Also Read:

You May Like: Parkinson’s Vs Multiple Sclerosis

Dealing With Side Effects Of Parkinsons Drugs

Its important to speak to your specialist or pharmacist if you notice anything unusual.

Changing or adding to your medication might help, and your specialist will be able to look into this.

For many people with advanced Parkinsons, medication may start to be reduced if side effects outweigh the benefits of taking medication.

But if some of the medication is reduced, you may find you get the benefits of the remaining ones, rather than the side effects.

If you experience side effects from your Parkinsons medication, you shouldnt stop taking it without guidance from your specialist.

Psychological Issue: Depression And Sex

Parkinson’s Disease Medications and the Side Effects

With diagnosis and decreased physical capacity, a persons sense of self is disrupted with Parkinsons. Parkinsons itself can cause changes in the brains chemicals that impact ones mood and well-being. Depression can affect up to 40 percent of those with Parkinsons. This is important to realize since sexual disorders may be due to the depression that can come with Parkinsons diagnosis more than by the actual disease itself. The antidepressant medications that may be administered can also result in sexual dysfunction.

Other emotional issues for those who have Parkinsons, which may result in sexual difficulties, include: anger, stress, grief, and mental fatigue. An individual grappling with Parkinsons may experience reduced self-esteem, which can inhibit ones sexuality. Such is made even more difficult by the body image problems that can arise, due to issues like changes in skin texture or the body smell that results from consuming Parkinsons drugs.

The partner of a person with Parkinsons can also have trouble coping with the situation. Issues that may arise include:

  • Fatigue and resentment in taking on more responsibility.
  • Dealing with their own feelings related to a partners diagnosis, like fear, anxiety, and depression.
  • Loss of attraction and sexual interest due to the symptoms of PD, e.g., involuntary movements or changes in appearance, like the lack of facial expression.

Read Also: How Do You Prevent Parkinson’s Disease

Impulsive And Compulsive Behavior

Some people taking dopamine agonists may experience problems with impulsive or compulsive behaviours. For example an increased desire to gamble or engage in sexual activity. These behaviours often develop slowly so may not seem to be a problem immediately. It is important for both the person living with Parkinsons and their family to be aware of this side effect. If affected by this side effect, a reduction in dose or stopping the medication will stop the behaviour.

If Levodopa Causes Dyskinesia Then Why Should I Take It

At present, treatment with levodopa is the most effective way to relieve tremor, stiffness, and slow movement associated with Parkinsons. In the early stage of Parkinsons, levodopa may not be necessary and there are other medications available to treat this stage of the disease. However, as the disease progresses and symptoms begin to interfere with daily living, your doctor will prescribe levodopa.

  • It typically doesnt develop immediately Its important to note that there is usually a time lag of roughly 4 to 10 years from the start of treatment with levodopa to when dyskinesia emerges, and its severity will vary among different individuals.
  • Younger people are at a greater risk People who get Parkinsons in their later years may not show signs of dyskinesia or may have only mild symptoms within their lifetime. Being diagnosed with Parkinsons at a younger age is associated with a greater chance of developing dyskinesia.
  • As with every aspect of Parkinsons, there is variability in dyskinesias Some do not develop dyskinesias at all. For those who do get them, not all experience them the same. Dyskinesia in its milder form may not be bothersome, and the mobility afforded by taking levodopa may be preferable to the immobility associated with not taking levodopa. People with Parkinsons must weigh the benefits from using levodopa versus the impact of dyskinesia on their quality of life.

Recommended Reading: How Do They Test You For Parkinson’s Disease

Is Deep Brain Stimulation For You

Deep brain stimulation is a very interesting surgery for Parkinson’s patients who don’t have dementia by implanting a device often called a “brain pacemaker”, DBS surgery can significantly reduce the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s, like tremors and rigidity. This, in turn, allows you to be less dependent on medications in managing your symptoms.

Parkinson’s And Male Sex Drive

10 Early Symptoms of Parkinsons Disease

Men with Parkinsons disease may experience difficulty obtaining/maintaining an erection or ejaculating during sexual intercourse.

Abnormalities in the function of the autonomic system may be one contributing cause of erectile dysfunction in men with PD. Erectile dysfunction in Parkinsons disease can also be directly related to the low dopamine levels of the brain.

Other common disorders related to aging, like diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, can also contribute to erectile dysfunction.

Sildenafil can sometimes help with erectile dysfunction. Testosterone replacement therapy may also help with both erections and desire.

You May Like: Parkinson’s Disease Hand Tremor

Controlled Release Madopar And Sinemet

Controlled release preparations have the letters CR or HBS after the drug name.

These let the levodopa enter your body slowly instead of all at once. They can increase the time between doses.

They may be used when the dose of standard levodopa starts to wear off and the person taking it no longer feels the treatment is effective.

Controlled release options can sometimes reduce involuntary movements .

Q: I Have Parkinsons Disease Should I Receive A Covid

A: For information about the COVID-19 vaccines how they work, safety, and more please visit our updated COVID-19 information section. In general, your age alone increases your risk of complications from COVID-19 infection. Depending on what PD symptoms you have, PD can also increase the risk of complications from the virus. For these reasons, it would be wise to protect yourself as much as possible from COVID-19, which would include getting vaccinated. As always, speak to your doctor about your individual clinical situation and to find out when and where you will be able to get the vaccine.

Don’t Miss: Emotional Symptoms Of Parkinson’s

Side Effects And Problems With Dopamine Agonists

Common side effects of dopamine agonists include:

If you are taking Cabergoline , Pergolide or Bromocriptine your neurologist or GP will have to arrange a chest CT scan or ultrasound of your heart yearly as over time these medications may affect heart or lung tissue.

This precaution does not apply to the other dopamine agonists available in Australia.

Consider Changing Your Diet

Ask the MD: Any tips on exercise to ease the side effects of Parkinson’s disease?

A healthy, varied, balanced diet is beneficial for anyone, including people with Parkinson’s disease. While including whole grains, vegetables, lean meats, fish, eggs, fruit, milk, beans, legumes, and nuts in your diet will keep you healthier, not all foods are great choices for patients whose medications make them feel sick. Eating plain crackers or bread alongside levodopa/carbidopa can help you reduce the nausea you’re feeling, and may prevent vomiting.

You May Like: What’s The Difference Between Parkinson’s And Ms

What Other Information Should I Know

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to levodopa and carbidopa.

Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking levodopa and carbidopa.

Levodopa and carbidopa can lose its effect completely over time or only at certain times during the day. Call your doctor if your Parkinson’s disease symptoms worsen or vary in severity.

As your condition improves and it is easier for you to move, be careful not to overdo physical activities. Increase your activity gradually to avoid falls and injuries.

Levodopa and carbidopa can cause false results in urine tests for sugar and ketones .

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

What Are The Differences Between Available Vaccines

Dr. Okun: Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are distributed in the U.S. and in other countries, with 94 and 95 percent effectiveness. Both require two dosages and need to be stored at incredibly low temperatures the Pfizer vaccine requiring an even lower storage temperature than the Moderna vaccine making distribution and storage a challenge. These two vaccines belong to a new treatment approach called messenger RNA vaccines, which create a COVID-19 defense system.

Other vaccines are in development around the world and most work more like a traditional vaccine . They send instructions through DNA, teaching the immune system how to respond to COVID-19. There are several vaccines in early development, but these have the most available information:

  • OxfordAstraZeneca: distributed in the U.K. with ~70 percent effectiveness. It works in two dosages. The major benefit to this vaccine is that it can be stored at refrigerator temperatures. The vaccine may be more effective if a weakened first shot is followed a few weeks later by a standard dose.
  • Sinovac and Sinopharm: created in China with ~78-80 percent effectiveness using two dosages. There is limited data on these vaccines. Sinovac is currently in late-stage trials in other countries.
  • Sputnik V: distributed in Russia and works using two dosages. Early reports are of ~92 percent effectiveness. However, there is limited data on this vaccine.

Also Check: Parkinson’s And Personality Changes

Is Parkinsons Disease Inherited

Scientists have discovered gene mutations that are associated with Parkinsons disease.

There is some belief that some cases of early-onset Parkinsons disease disease starting before age 50 may be inherited. Scientists identified a gene mutation in people with Parkinsons disease whose brains contain Lewy bodies, which are clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein. Scientists are trying to understand the function of this protein and its relationship to genetic mutations that are sometimes seen in Parkinsons disease and in people with a type of dementia called Lewy body dementia.

Several other gene mutations have been found to play a role in Parkinsons disease. Mutations in these genes cause abnormal cell functioning, which affects the nerve cells ability to release dopamine and causes nerve cell death. Researchers are still trying to discover what causes these genes to mutate in order to understand how gene mutations influence the development of Parkinsons disease.

Scientists think that about 10% to 15% of persons with Parkinsons disease may have a genetic mutation that predisposes them to development of the disease. There are also environmental factors involved that are not fully understood.

Physical Issues Of Your Sex Drive

Managing the Side Effects of Parkinsons Disease

Parkinsons affects ones autonomic nervous system, which controls sexual response and functioning. Parkinsons acts upon neurons in the brains substantia nigra, causing dopamine-producing nerve cells to die. Since dopamine is a chemical that transmits signals between parts of the brain that usually coordinate smooth muscle movement, this is critical to sexual function on two fronts.

Introducing an easier way to track your symptoms and manage your care.

Dont want to download the app? Use the non-mobile version here.

First, this dopamine drop may result in a decreased sex drive and sexual interest. Second, the lower levels of dopamine that result are believed to cause ones loss of balance, changes in walking pattern and posture, muscle rigidity, Bradykinesia , and tremors when resting. The symptoms of Parkinsons can also be seen in:

Recommended Reading: Common Treatments For Parkinson’s Disease

Ask Whether Your Dosages Or Medications Can Be Changed

Parkinson’s disease patients who experience side effects like dyskinesia may be getting too much levodopa, and can talk to their doctor about the possibility of reducing the dose, or adding in more carbidopa. These small tweaks to your medication regime may reduce your side effects without affecting the efficacy of the drug. You can also inquire about taking long-acting carbidopa/levodopa, which releases the medications into your blood stream at a slower rate and tends to have fewer side effects because of that.

Medicines For Parkinson’s Disease

Medicines prescribed for Parkinson’s include:

  • Drugs that increase the level of dopamine in the brain
  • Drugs that affect other brain chemicals in the body
  • Drugs that help control nonmotor symptoms

The main therapy for Parkinson’s is levodopa, also called L-dopa. Nerve cells use levodopa to make dopamine to replenish the brain’s dwindling supply. Usually, people take levodopa along with another medication called carbidopa. Carbidopa prevents or reduces some of the side effects of levodopa therapysuch as nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, and restlessnessand reduces the amount of levodopa needed to improve symptoms.

People with Parkinson’s should never stop taking levodopa without telling their doctor. Suddenly stopping the drug may have serious side effects, such as being unable to move or having difficulty breathing.

Other medicines used to treat Parkinsons symptoms include:

  • Dopamine agonists to mimic the role of dopamine in the brain
  • MAO-B inhibitors to slow down an enzyme that breaks down dopamine in the brain
  • COMT inhibitors to help break down dopamine
  • Amantadine, an old antiviral drug, to reduce involuntary movements
  • Anticholinergic drugs to reduce tremors and muscle rigidity

Recommended Reading: Physical Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease

Q Is Surgery Beneficial For People With Parkinsons Disease

A. Neurosurgery is increasingly used for people who have erratic and disabling responses to prolonged levodopa therapy. Options include deep brain stimulation , pallidotomy and thalamotomy. These procedures are generally only available in large, specialist centres.

Deep brain stimulation is where electrodes are inserted in the parts of the brain that control smooth motor control. These electrodes are connected to a device that is implanted under the skin near your collarbone.

The main difference between deep brain stimulation and traditional surgery is that you are able to activate and control the device, which sends tiny bursts of electricity to your brain to help control tremor and dyskinesias.

For people taking levodopa, it can help stabilise medication fluctuations and dyskinesia. Rigidity and bradykinesia can also improve with this treatment.

Unfortunately, this procedure is generally not helpful for people who have not responded to levodopa, except for those whose main symptom is tremor. Deep brain stimulation is not suitable for people with dementia, a psychotic illness or a major medical condition.

Pallidotomy, which involves destroying overactive cells in a region of the brain called the globus pallidus, is generally reserved for people with advanced disease that is not controlled by medicines. It can also treat the dyskinesias that result from long-term levodopa therapy, and allow continued use of levodopa.

Popular Articles
Related news