My PD effects my right side with stiffness, tremors and toe curling. This seems to effect my driving but am also noticing reaction time

issues to traffic situations. Do others have this? Currently on azilect and mirapex only. Mirapex is 3x a day. How long can one expect to drive without having to give up license? Is there a different drug that may help with driving?

15 Replies

  • I seem to have the same problems with Parkinson's as you do. Driving I decided when I felt I could be a danger to others. It is hard to know our safe driving days are coming to an end. I feel stuck and locked up. I am not one who wants to sit around; but, I need someon4 to drive me. I was on Azelect but another Neuro changed it to something else. It seems it

    is always something with PD>

  • The following is from HealthUnlocked and may be helpful:

    Each one of you -- patient, friend or caregiver -- tries to convince the physician of your case with the caregivers demanding a cessation of driving and the patient denying any difficulty with driving whatsoever. Very often the physician is unaware that he need not make a decision alone and that instead he or she should refer the family to a driver assessment program.

    These programs are usually run by occupational therapists. If your doctor does not mention a driver assessment and rehab program, ask a occupational therapist for a referral.

    Unfortunately, it usually takes an accident or a near-accident to convince everyone concerned -- especially the patient -- to seek out a driver assessment program. It may be wise -- and life-saving -- to undergo a routine driver assessment from day one, after you recently diagnosed, and then each year thereafter. (A large portion of PD patients stop driving by five years of the disease.) Other reasons to undergo a test: sign of intellectual impairment, excessive daytime sleepiness, hallucinations or other serious side effects of drug therapy, and any indications that a patient's medications are becoming less effective ("wearing off" of the positive effects of the medication).

    Driving Tips for PD Patients

    Even if you pass a driver assessment test with flying colors, prudence suggests that you follow these simple rules for safer driving:

    •Try not to drive after dark or during rush hour.

    •Let other people do the driving if possible.

    •Take public transportation as often as possible.

    •Do not drive at the time of day when you are most fatigued or sleepy.

    •Seek out friends and support groups to set up car pool arrangements or to hitch a ride with safe drivers.

    When it comes to driving always err on the safe side!

  • I know you are right and I am fighting giving up my independance. I had to renew my license yesterday and was shocked when one of the medical questions asked if I had PD. I lied because I was cut off guard and was afraid of the consequences. Now I have been bothered since!

  • Oh dear, where I live I think that would invalidate my insurance.

  • The only problem i have driving is sometimes my right foot twitches on the pedal giving the feeling of the car jumping but its not all the time.

  • I personally believe my driving is safer now simply because I driver slower and take more precautions than when I was younger. My biggest dangers are falling asleep at the wheel on a medium to long trip (never have but it concerns me so I don't make these trips or if I do I only travel in the morning when I am alert). Reaction time is slower especially when drugs wear off so I avoid driving after dark due to reduced vision and reduced reaction time but if I do travel then I only do so in familiar areas for short distances and reduce my speed accordingly. I have to keep in mind that this could all change.

  • Falling asleep at the wheel is a known possible side effect of several PD drugs. Ask your MD for a Rx for Nuvigil (A prescription "Stay Awake" pill). It works for me.

  • The sleep concern appears more related to a lack of sleep at night. I slept 7.5 hours last night and feel great but that is an exception.

  • Unfortunately it often happens that the person isn't aware himself . This was the case before my husband stopped driving . I had stopped driving a long time ago through illness and never restarted . Unfortunately it's too late for me now .

    I didn't want him to stop driving because I relied on it as well ..

    I eventually bit the bullet and started to broach the subject , I had noticed for a long time that he seemed not be able to keep his concentration but wasn't really sure .mInould start to talk to him in case . Then he started to veer to the centre of the road , poor judgement when parking near the page and kept going to close to the curb especially when going round a corner . . One time I even closed my eyes and took a deep breath .

    Once I told him he was great he listen and trusted what I said and stopped immediately . We both missed it of course but I started to shop on line and we used taxi or stayed home because he couldn't even stand at a bus stop ..

    We are still here to tell the tale That must b about eight years ago .

    If you have any doubts ask someone who is a passenger to be honest with you and trust what they say . good luck

  • As a retired AARP Driver Safety Program Instructor and retired Motorcycle Safety Foundation Instructor, I can tell you this: If you crash into and kill a bus full of kids, the fact that your passenger (presumably untrained and uncertified) pronounced you fit to drive, will probably carry little weight with a jury or judge. Don't expose your friends, or yourself to such a nightmare. Seek out a driver assessment program, and get enrolled

  • Stop driving now. The loss of reaction will cost you or some one else more than you can pay. I gave up driving for the same reason after I had PD for 3 years.

  • I agree it's a much better idea To go to the professional after all that's what know . All I am suggesting is that They think twice about it if a passenger says it's time to give up it's becoming unsafe .

    I will certainly look into the Nuvigil . Just looked it up and the side effects worry me a little especially because my husband unfortunately seem very sensitive to certain medication . I am glad it works for you , It would be great if my husband could be be more awake . It's not exactly sleep more like a light switch turning off . Even while eating normally a while after taking the medication Sinemet

  • Hi. i was diagnosed with PD in 2011 at 35 years-old. I have had tremors in my left arm since 2008. The disease is primary affecting the entire left side of my body with exception to my face. I have stiffness across my whole face. (bradykinesia) My left leg has tremors. PD has resulting in 3 surgeries to my left ankle and foot with the final surgery being an ankle and foot fusion. I walk with the classic PD shuffle. Doctors say that they very rarely see a person my age with such a prominent tremor. I have tried a few PD medication (mirapex and sinemet) with poor results. The mirapex puts me to sleep and the sinemet helps to alleviate the facial stiffness but seems to do nothing to help with the tremors. I am 38 years-old and I have been out on disability from work since Nov 2011. The job that I had was extremely physical and so this disease has taken away by ability to provide for my family. At such a young age this has been a devastating disease for my entire family since I am the primary income provider.

    My wife works part-time and depends on me to get her to and from work. My wife has never driven a car in her life. She is not confident behind the wheel of a car. We live in a high traffic city and therefor I am not pushing her to learn. We live in Florida. We moved down here 10 years ago from New York State. We moved here to put ourselves in a better job environment. We have no family around. We can not go back to NY because the company that I work for provides me with health insurance. I have a lawyer who is fighting for Social Security Disability. We have been fighting for 2 years now, still not approved yet. I can barely walk and I shake so badly that I attract a lot of attention when I go out in public. Also my stepson gave us the wonderfull gift of 2 grandchildren. My stepson works about 60 hours a week, so therefor he can not always take time to drive us around.I feel like this situation is too tough for any one man to overcome. I am not giving-up, but I got to say that I don't see any good ways out of this. I can still drive really good at this time. Just this week I started to notice a slight tremor in my right hand. According to what I have read online when the tremors start to appear on both sides of your body that is a sign that you are moving into stage 2. I'm thinking stage 2 already at 38 years-old, wow and why me. I do not know what to do about providing for me and my wife and what to do about transportation in the future when i am no-longer able to drive. If anyone has any ideas or is in the same situation please respond.

    Thanks for your time.


  • Hi Parkies- Iv'e always had nite blindness, so i do not drive at night.(makes sense). In a dyer straits, i will drive. I'm very aware of everything going on around me. If i am sleepy i do not drive, no matter what. And i leave the dog at home. If u have any doubts don't take the car u'll kill ur self. Does any one remember that saying and commercial? Peace out, Fronya

  • What kind of Mirapex are you taking? If it's the ordinary kind, it is probably causing you to experience suddenly elevated concentrations (with attendant dizziness and sleepiness) three times a day; you might ask your doctor to switch you to Mirapex ER (extended release). It still has the side effect of dizziness, but only once a day. In my case it hits its high point about 90-120 minutes after taking.BTW, I have pretty much the same set of symptoms, but I was driving for ten years with the symptoms before I got diagnosed three years ago. The meds at least help control the foot/leg tremors, toe curling, etc


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