April is Parkinson's Awareness Month
April 14th, 2018
Good afternoon we hope you are enjoying the weekend!
Today we will talk about Medications for Parkinson's Disease. There have been many remarkable changes in treatments for Parkinson's disease in recent years. Scientists have developed new drugs, and they have a better understanding of how to use older treatments. That has made a big difference in everyday life for people with the disease.
Most people can get relief from their Parkinson’s symptoms with medicines. But some may need surgery if their medications stop working well enough.
The medicines you take early on have a strong impact on how your condition will unfold over time. So it’s important to work with a neurologist or other Parkinson’s specialist who can guide you through those treatment decisions.
Common Drugs for Parkinson's Disease
Levodopa and carbidopa (Sinemet). Levodopa (also called L-dopa) is the most commonly prescribed medicine for Parkinson’s. It’s 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. That’s a chemical the brain uses to send signals that help you move your body. People with Parkinson’s don’t 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 Parkinson’s medications. But it does raise your odds for some long-term problems, such as involuntary movements. 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.
Safinamide (Xadago) is an add-on medicine that may be prescribed when individuals taking levdopoa and carbidopa have a breakthrough of Parkinson’s symptoms that were previously under control. Studies show that adding this drug helps individuals experience longer times with reduced or no symptoms. The most common side effects are trouble falling or staying asleep, nausea, falls, and uncontrolled, involuntary movements.
For more information and to read about other medical treatments visit https://www.webmd.com/parkinsons-dis…/guide/drug-treatments…
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Thank you and God Bless!