Medicine: when to start and w/ what

Which medications are right for me? Medications that are effective for one person with Parkinson's disease, may not work well for another person. The best way for a person to identify the right medications is through an evaluation by a doctor or nurse practitioner who is knowledgeable about Parkinson's disease. Several general comments may be helpful in providing general background. For an individual with the first symptoms of Parkinson's disease (for example, a mild tremor in an arm or stiffness in a leg), no medication may be necessary. Mild intermittent symptoms (particularly when it involves the non-dominant arm) may not limit activity. At this early stage, adequate rest, a balanced diet, and an exercise program that emphasizes range of motion may be the most appropriate treatments. Over time, people with Parkinson's disease note worsening of symptoms. Common symptoms that may limit activity include: tremor, slowness, and stiffness. The threshold for beginning treatment varies considerably between individuals. When starting medical treatment for Parkinson's disease, it is important for people to have a realistic expectation about the degree of improvement to expect from medical treatment. For most, an improvement of 20-40% is typical. If tremor of a limb becomes a troubling symptom, treatment with an anticholinergic or amantadine may be tried.

9 Replies

  • Anticholinergic medications are not recommended for people with open angle glaucoma so that limits my choices somewhat. I tried an agonist,neupro patch which was very effective in practically eliminating the tremor but nausea and dizziness were bad and reading up on this found it counter indicated for people over 70. I used it twice, not enough to judge.... settling for LD/Cd, one half tab once or twice a day taken now for four weeks. Does almost stop the tremor but I have to increase amount for full day. I am not that affected by tremor but find it socially awkward

  • Hi Roy, what an eye opener for me. I had no idea all we can expect is between 20 and 40%. Right now all I am taking is Zendopa once in awhile. I guess I will not be racing to start the drugs thanks Mary

  • Think Parkie this is not the experience of many people. Meds in the beginning returned my life to normal.

  • Hi I really don't know what to do. I am scared of medication should I say multiple medications that get increased in dosage and taken more often as time goes by. And I have to say I am really struggling physically. So, any suggestions? I have never even talked to a Parkinson's patient face to face . And I have to say this I do not have much faith in doctors . So, I am a very hard case . Mary

  • So I can tell you that I can't pick up a cup of tea as because I'm shaking so much it goes everywhere so I'm supervised with food and drink I suffer with stiff neck and arm so what do you call that appreciate your opinion

  • I chose to medicate with amantadine

  • Please can you tell me what to look for in symtons of parkinsons

  • Can you tell me what I should look for in parkinsons

  • Send me your email address and I will send spreadsheet listing the symptoms.

    National Parkinson Foundation - Joseph Jankovic, MD

    What are the different forms of Parkinson’s Disease?

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