Parkinsons Madopar and blood glucose ... - Parkinson's Movement

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Parkinsons Madopar and blood glucose levels


I am wondering if anyone else is taking Madopar and have been told that they are now Diabetic.

Apparently the drug can alter blood glucose levels but how much I am unable to find out.

I had words with my Consultant neurologist and GP who both say they have never heard of such a thing, yet it quite clearly states :-

This medicine may affect the results of certain laboratory tests, including those for testing glucose levels in blood or urine. If you have diabetes ask your doctor for further information about this. Tell your doctor that you are taking this medicine if you have any blood or urine tests.

If this drug affects the blood glucose levels, does it do it enough to be mistaken for Diabetes?

It is a quite simple question but one that I cannot get an answer to.

I asked my GP if I need to keep an eye on my Blood sugar levels

He just dismissed it and said no need to. but again it clearly states that if you are Diabetic and on madopar blood glucose levels should be monitored closely.

The trouble is no one will give you a satisdfactory answer and look at you as if you are three sheets in the wind.

20 Replies

Sorry never heard of this, where did you get this information from ?


Look up Levodopa and relationship to blood glucose levels

I am on Stalevo and Requip XL and have recently been told I have Type 2 Diabetes. I have never been told that this could be linked to my meds. However, an overactive thyroid has just come to join us and my GP has told me to ask my Consultant if any of my meds could be causing a high reading. A number of the problems apparently mimic Parkinsons and this could be contributing to my current prolems. Going through the list, my GP even asked if I had a tremor!!

Luckily we had a giggle about this as this is one of my main symptoms. She is a treasure.

Hi oldtyke, there have been a number of people in the past on other forums who have linked pd and diabetes anecdotally, but the info you have posted is different. I would like to ask whether your ACTUAL blood glucose levels are up or whether it affects the readings? Surely if it affects the readings then it may be giving a false positive result for diabetes and then people may be treated for something they do not have. On the other had if it is actually triggering diabetes then that is a whole other issue, and doctors ought to be aware of it.

Have you any ideas on this yourself, it is a really interesting and relevant issue.


I am unable to get any information form anyone

I phoned and contacted Roche (The makers) they referred me to Martindales which is a Materia Medica. Unfortunately, I was unable to get to the site, but various other sites on relation to Levodopa and blood glucose all state that if Diabetic, then blood glucose needs to be monitored carefully but also Levodopa can affect test results on Blood glucose.

But how much of a % I am unable to find out. My GP and Neurologist (very arrogant) say it is nonsense.

I have to face the fact that I may not be diabetic, but my GP says I am, that blood sugar results are perhaps being altered by taking Madopar (levodopa)

My only solution is to stop taking medication to see if this works.

Apparently not a good idea.

It seems it is difficult if not impossible to get the truth from a drug company or a Doctor.

I am now at a complete loss as to what to do or who to approach.

This has happened to me before in 1999 when my GP prescribed a drug for what he called depression. After ten days it affected me so bad. I won't go into full detail, but it has left me with severe problems since, which I think has led to the Parkinsons. After trying to get to the truth I have been blocked every way possible for years my GP said it was all in the mind.

I believe we are at the mercy of the doctors and drug companies who work very much in hand with each other. When anything goes wrong they all clam up.

It is very easy to say to someone it is all in the mind. and making a fuss can result in suggestions that one needs to see a psychiatrist.

I have become very suspicious of Doctors my confidence in them is nil.

An interesting idea..

Do you think madopar pushes theblood sugar level up or down.

I have been wondering about thiis.

It would be very interesting to know.


See my previous blog! The more people who do their own research on this topic and report back, we may eventually get to some modicum of truth.

I will ask the question on a different forum and see what happens and post if I get answers.

You have stumbled upon medicine's dirty little secret about Ldopa (of which Madopar is one form). It has been known since the early part of the 20th century that Ldopa affects blood glucose. It also affects insulin levels, as well, which is not quite the same thing.

This is an extremely complicated subject that has been discussed in detail for years over in the NeuroTalk forum. You might want to go there and do a forum search. Here is a link to get you started

Here is a report from thirty, yes thirty, years ago-

1. Int J Neurosci. 1993 Mar-Apr;69(1-4):125-30.

The relationship between diabetes mellitus and Parkinson's disease.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT.

It has been reported that 50% to 80% of patients with Parkinson's disease have

abnormal glucose tolerance which may be further exacerbated by levodopa therapy.

Little is known about the impact of chronic hyperglycemia on the severity of the

motor manifestations and the course of the disease as well as its impact on the

efficacy of levodopa or other dopaminergic drugs. This issue, which has been

largely ignored, is of clinical relevance since animal studies indicate that

chronic hyperglycemia decreases striatal dopaminergic transmission and increases

the sensitivity of postsynaptic dopamine receptors. In addition, evidence from

experimental animal studies indicates that diabetic rats are resistant to the

locomotor and behavioral effects of the dopamine agonist amphetamine. The

resistance to the central effects of amphetamine is largely restored with chronic

insulin therapy. In the present communication, I propose that in Parkinson's

disease diabetes may exacerbate the severity of the motor disability and

attenuate the therapeutic efficacy of levodopa or other dopaminergic agents as

well as increase the risk of levodopa-induced motor dyskinesias. Thus, it is

advocated that Parkinsonian patients should be routinely screened for evidence of

glucose intolerance and that if found aggressive treatment of the hyperglycemia

may improve the response to levodopa and potentially diminish the risk of

levodopa-induced motor dyskinesias.

PMID: 8082998 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

thanks rick for posting here, you probably got here on your own, but hoped that you or Laura would shed some light on this one.....


I wonder why it is A consultant Neurologist who's a specialist in Parkinsons refuses to accept my comments re Ldopa and Blood glucose levels. Also My GP thinks it is nonsense.

In fact I saw my GP this week re my Neurological consultation two weeks ago the first thing written on the letter to my GP was.

''Patient as disgruntled as ever.''

I think I have a right to be disgruntled when you are treated like an idiot, and the consultant acts with such arrogance and refuses to even accept information got from reliable sources.

Lindylanka in reply to Hidden

As I said, this topic has been discussed at length on other forums, and there is interesting information if you follow reverett's link, also perhaps patientslikeme may have info on this. Also links to thyroid etc, and indications are that PD could have multisystemic implications.

Other things to look out for if you get annual checkups are bloods, B12 deficiency is also a possibility as is folate, both correctable. In longterm ldopa users there are higher % with low levels of both, especially older users.

In general neuros and GPs are not aware of any of these, so not surprising that they have not heard of it. If you research the topic, re blood glucose and access the papers, provide a link to study, perhaps neuro will see you as well-informed rather than disgruntled!

Its a useful form of advocacy to get neuros engaged with this, and think outside the box, though in your case it does seem as though you had a genuine question that deserved more than a brush-off!


Perhaps you could eliminate some confusion in my understanding of what you're communicating...twice above you refer to something you call "it says". I'm sorry, but I might be being a bit thick, but I've reread this twice and am still a bit confused. What is "it?"

Baffled in Bisbee,



Perhaps you should go back to my original statement and take it from there

then go do the research for yourself.

In that way you will feel less confused.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT. (A good place to start)

I believe this American Laboratory did research into the relationship between Ldopa and Blood glucose test results.

Do you think the blood glucose is elevated all the time or does it fluctuate?

It would be interesting to know..

Ian Kemm


This is something I intend to find out.

blood sugar is rising with me . I started with ropinerole 2 years ago and have changed to a combination of ropinerole 4mg and madopar 125mg/day. both apppear to affect blood sugar. I had been years without meddication and controlling only by diet reading 7mmol. wiith ropinerole it went to 8mmol buut I suspect that the 'can't be bothered' character brought on by ropinerole was causing me to start grazing again. with madopar it shot to as high as 15mmol but is holding at 10mmol on a diet that previously brought my sugars down to 7mmol. I strongly suspect madopar is the cause.

Hidden in reply to paulp

This Post was way back in June 2012

so much has happened since then.

Mysteriously or Curiously when I mentioned this a few times to various doctors and went back for my Glucose Tolerance test, I was told I was not Diabetic anymore

What do you make of that?

My mom has been experiencing big swings in sugar levels since she's been on Parkinson's med's.

Also, not sleeping well:(

Trying to make adjustments!!

I've been a needle using diabetic for 20 years and fairly stable. PD for only a year. Levodopa has changed my formulas a lot. Every 50% increase in LD causes a doubling of my insulin. And you're right. Doctors claim ignorance.

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