Stay Safe With Your Medicines
Read all labels carefully.
- Tell all your health care providers about all the medicines and supplements you take.
- Know all the medicines and foods youâre allergic to.
- Review any side effects your medicines can cause. Most reactions will happen when you start taking something, but thatâs not always the case. Some reactions may be delayed or may happen when you add a drug to your treatment. Call your doctor right away about anything unusual.
- Use one pharmacy if possible. Try to fill all your prescriptions at the same location, so the pharmacist can watch for drugs that might interact with each other.
- You can use online tools to see if any of your medicines wonât work well together.
You have the right and responsibility to know what medications your doctor prescribes. The more you know about them and how they work, the easier it will be for you to control your symptoms. You and your doctor can work together to create and change a medication plan. Make sure that you understand and share the same treatment goals. Talk about what you should expect from medications so that you can know if your treatment plan is working.
Adjust Your Drug Dose
Side effects like dyskinesia might be due to the amount of levodopa youre taking. Ask your doctor whether you can lower your dose enough to prevent side effects while still managing your Parkinsons symptoms. It might take some trial and error to get the dose just right.
Another option is to switch to an extended-release form of dopamine. Because the drug releases more slowly into your blood, it prevents the dopamine spikes and valleys that can trigger dyskinesia.
You might also need to add more of a drug. For example, adding extra carbidopa to levodopa can cut down on nausea.
Whats The Difference Between Dementia With Lewy Bodies And Parkinsons
In dementia with Lewy bodies, dementia always appears first. There can also be changes in alertness as well as visual hallucinations. However, because of the presence of Lewy bodies throughout the entire brain, characteristics of this disease not only include cognitive characteristics, but also physical, sleep, and behavioral changes. As the disease progresses, the motor symptoms common to Parkinsons such as tremor, slowness, stiffness, and walking and balance problems will appear.
For more information on dementia with Lewy bodies, visit www.lbda.org.
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Types Of Hallucinations In People With Parkinsons Disease
Hallucinations involve the five senses: sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste.
People with hallucinations have sensory experiences that feel real to them, but are not actually happening and are not apparent to anyone else.
Types of hallucinations include:
- Auditory: Hearing things
- Gustatory: Tasting things
For people who experience Parkinsons-related hallucinations, the hallucinations are usually visual. They are typically non-threatening, but less commonly they can be of a threatening nature.
Often people with Parkinsons disease psychosis see small people or animals, or loved ones who have already died. They are not interacting with them, just being observed.
Auditory hallucinations are more common in people with schizophrenia, but can happen with Parkinsons disease. With Parkinsons disease, auditory hallucinations are usually accompanied by visual hallucinations.
More specific types of hallucinations experienced by people with Parkinsons disease include:
Parkinsonism Falls And Fracture Risk
All forms of parkinsonism, both PD and DIP, have implications for bone health. A 2014 meta-analysis on PD and fracture risk concludes that PD increases the risk of fracture.4
Given that the symptoms of parkinsonism affect balance, motor skills, gait, and the bodys ability to control movement, it is no surprise that people with PD are more likely to experience a fall than people without PD. Here is an excerpt from a 2016 study comparing the incidence of falls and fracture in PD patients:
It is estimated that 60.5% of patients with PD experience at least one fall and 39% have recurrent falls. The high frequency of falls consequently contributes to the increased risk for fractures in PD patients, which has been estimated to be approximately two times the risk in healthy controls. It has been estimated that 76% of falls in PD patients require health care services and 33% result in fractures. Falls and fractures may result in a series of unfavorable outcomes, such as disabilities and death. Furthermore, among PD patients with fractures, the mortality rate is approximately 10.6%.5
All too often, doctors prescribe these drugs without appropriate consideration of this risk. This excerpt from a study on DIP clarifies the danger of accepting a prescription of an unnecessary or inappropriate prescription drug:
Shockingly, the drugs that cause DIP are still being prescribed. This yet one more example further proving that the FDAs drug approval process is useless.
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How Do I Prevent Falls From Common Hazards
- Floors: Remove all loose wires, cords, and throw rugs. Minimize clutter. Make sure rugs are anchored and smooth. Keep furniture in its usual place.
- Bathroom: Install grab bars and non-skid tape in the tub or shower. Use non-skid bath mats on the floor or install wall-to-wall carpeting.
- Lighting: Make sure halls, stairways, and entrances are well-lit. Install a night light in your bathroom or hallway and staircase. Turn lights on if you get up in the middle of the night. Make sure lamps or light switches are within reach of the bed if you have to get up during the night.
- Kitchen: Install non-skid rubber mats near the sink and stove. Clean spills immediately.
- Stairs: Make sure treads, rails, and rugs are secure. Install a rail on both sides of the stairs. If stairs are a threat, it might be helpful to arrange most of your activities on the lower level to reduce the number of times you must climb the stairs.
- Entrances and doorways: Install metal handles on the walls adjacent to the doorknobs of all doors to make it more secure as you travel through the doorway.
Treatments For Parkinsons And Parkinsonism
Parkinsons disease is a movement disorder that causes motor symptoms such as stiffness, bradykinesia , resting tremor, and postural instability that can lead to falls. In people who have symptoms of Parkinsons, but the cause is unknown, the condition may be referred to as parkinsonism. There is at present no cure for Parkinsons, and no treatments have been proven to change the course of the disease. However, many people with Parkinsons can improve their symptoms and quality of life with effective treatment options.
Symptoms and severity can vary widely between individuals with parkinsonism. There is no standard treatment for Parkinsons. Guidelines for Parkinsons treatments are based on what symptoms a person has, the severity of the symptoms, how long they have had Parkinsons, which type and stage of Parkinsons they have, tolerance of side effects, the age of the person, and any other health conditions they have or medications they use. Some treatments are highly effective for one type of Parkinsons, but ineffective for others. In most people, medications gradually lose their effectiveness as the disease progresses.
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What Are The Surgical Treatments For Parkinsons Disease
Most patients with Parkinsons disease can maintain a good quality of life with medications. However, as the disease worsens, medications may no longer be effective in some patients. In these patients, the effectiveness of medications becomes unpredictable reducing symptoms during on periods and no longer controlling symptoms during off periods, which usually occur when the medication is wearing off and just before the next dose is to be taken. Sometimes these variations can be managed with changes in medications. However, sometimes they cant. Based on the type and severity of your symptoms, the failure of adjustments in your medications, the decline in your quality of life and your overall health, your doctor may discuss some of the available surgical options.
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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Tackling Neuropathy Fatigue And Gi Issues In Pd
While its known as a movement disorder, people who live with Parkinsons disease experience many non-movement, or non-motor, symptoms too though not all of them are related to the disease. Peripheral neuropathy, or nervous system damage, fatigue and GI issues are common PD challenges that can also stem from other causes. Working with your doctor to identify the source of your symptoms is key to effective treatment.
This article is based on the Parkinsons Foundation Expert Briefing series Symptom Management: Is it PD, Medication or Aging? Exploring Non-motor Symptoms: Neuropathy, Fatigue, GI Issues presented by Ellen Walter, Nurse Practitioner, Cleveland Clinic, and Steven Swank, Clinical Pharmacist, University of Kansas Medical Center. Both organizations are Parkinsons Foundation Centers of Excellence.
Causes of neuropathy, fatigue and impaired gastrointestinal function during the course of PD can be wide-ranging and include everything from normal aging to medication side effects.
With any health challenge, its recommended to log symptoms. This can help your doctor rule out potential causes. When did symptoms start? Are there any patterns?
Anesthetic Drugs May Interact With Medications Used For Parkinsons Disease
Lorri A. Lee, MD Tricia A. Meyer, PharmD, MS, FASHP
An estimated one million people in the United States have been diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease making it one of the most common neurological disorders in patients. This number is estimated to double in the next 30 years as PD is associated with increasing age. PD patients have a deficiency of dopamine in their brain and many of their medications are used to increase this neurotransmitter. They are frequently very sensitive to missing even one dose of their Parkinson medications and may exhibit increased rigidity, loss of balance, agitation, and confusion if their dosing schedule is delayed. Neuroleptic malignant syndrome or parkinsonism-hyperpyrexia syndrome can develop if their medications are held too long or as a result of serious infection.1 Many drugs used in the perioperative period, such as metoclopramide, butyrophenones , and phenothiazines have anti-dopaminergic activity that can worsen the symptoms of PD.
PD patients may be prescribed selective MAOI-B medications such as selegiline and rasagiline that inhibit metabolism of dopamine. Though caution is still advised, several studies have demonstrated that the risk of serotonin syndrome with these selective MAOI-B drugs is extremely low, even in combination with serotonergic antidepressants.
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare for this article.
Patients With Parkinsons Disease Are At Risk For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
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Side Effects Of Medication
All prescribed medication can have potential side effects, including those used to treat Parkinsons.
Many people find their Parkinsons medication works very well when they start taking it, but this may change over time and side effects can develop.
Some things you think are symptoms of Parkinsons may actually be side effects of medication.
Some peoples side effects will have a big impact on their lives and have to be kept under control along with the symptoms.
Who Are At Risk Of Developing Drug Included Parkinsonism
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.
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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.
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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Learn More About Formularies Insurance And Parkinsons
We recently sat down with Davis Phinney Foundation Ambassador Amy Carlson to discuss the issue. In the video included in this post, Amy shares her story about navigating the exceptions process when her formulary stopped covering one of her prescribed medications.
One of the most common worries we hear from people living with Parkinsons is concern about how theyll be able to pay for their medication over the long term. Since Parkinsons often causes a wide variety of symptoms that require treatment, it can be a challenge to find a way to afford everything you need. To help, weve compiled a set of resources for you to reference depending on the medications you take. .
Thank you to our 2021 Peak Partners
A special thanks to Neurocrine for their help in understanding the complexities of this issue.
Delayed Administration And Contraindicated Drugs Place Hospitalized Parkinsons Disease Patients At Risk
Problem: One-third of all patients with Parkinsons disease visit an emergency department or hospital each year, making it a surprisingly common occurrence.1 The disease affects about 1 million people and is currently the fourteenth leading cause of death in the US. Hospitalization can be risky for patients with Parkinsons disease when viewed from the perspective of pharmacological management.
Patients with Parkinsons disease require strict adherence to an individualized, timed medication regimen of antiparkinsonian agents. Dosing intervals are specific to each individual patient because of the complexity of the disease. It is not unusual for patients being treated with carbidopa/levodopa to require a dose every 1 to 2 hours. When medications are not administered on time, according to the patients unique schedule, patients may experience an immediate increase in symptoms.2,3 Delaying medications by more than 1 hour, for example, can cause patients with Parkinsons disease to experience worsening tremors, increased rigidity, loss of balance, confusion, agitation, and difficulty communicating.2 Studies show that three out of four hospitalized patients with Parkinsons disease do not receive their medications on time, or have had doses entirely omitted.4 According to the National Parkinson Foundation, 70% of neurologists report that their patients do not get the medications they need when hospitalized.2
Two case examples
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Be Your Own Health Advocate
Every drug carries risks.The Save Institute recommends avoiding prescriptions drugs except in matters of life and death. The dire, life-altering consequences of DIP are a striking example of why this recommendation is so important for maintaining your health.
Do your own research about the potential side effects of any drug, and always seek a natural remedy instead of a synthetic drug. In the case of osteoporosis and osteopenia, reversal is possible through a combination of diet, exercise and bone-healthy lifestyle choices.
Some Disadvantages Of Mao
When people have taken rasagiline on its own , the most commonly reported side effects have been:
When taken with levodopa, the most common reports have been of uncontrolled movements and accidental falls.
Many of these side effects may be due to the increase in dopamine caused by rasagiline or selegiline. Your doctor or consultant can alter the dosage to correct these effects.
If youre taking some types of antidepressant, you might not be able to take MAO-B inhibitors, as these drugs can interact with each other to raise blood pressure to a dangerous level.
Your neurologist or pharmacist is the best person to advise on potential interactions with other medications.
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