Adding Lexapro to Sinemet for my Parkinson's - Cure Parkinson's

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Adding Lexapro to Sinemet for my Parkinson's

willason profile image

Hi folks, I'm willason, I'm new here as of 10/9/18, and this is my first post. I'm a male in my 50s. I joined to have a sounding board of other Parkinson's patients as I deal with managing my own PD, which was diagnosed in June of 2016. I really don't have anyone that I can talk to about these issues. My hope is to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with anyone I may meet on here. My PD symptoms are manifested by toe-curling (both feet) that can be very extreme...and which often then leads to these terrible cramps in my right hip area, and the cramps can be very painful and long-lasting. My Doctor has me on Sinemet 25/100 mg 2 pills 5 times a day. My Doctor now wants me to add Lexapro 5 mg pill once a day to my regimen. I'm nervous about Lexapro, but my Doctor feels it may help me. Anyone out there have any experience with Lexapro for PD? Can Lexapro help with minimizing the onset of PD events like toe-curling and cramps? Sinemet works great, but my Doctor feels Lexapro could help too.

27 Replies


Welcome to the forum! The combined experience on this forum is amazing and you should find answers to most all of your PD related questions here.

I don't know if you are open to non prescription supplements, but if you are, you may find the following thread of interest. It discusses Dr. Costantini's Thiamine / Vitamin B-1 Protocol and will answer any questions you may have about it! It has been very effective for many of the forum members, is inexpensive and has a very good safety profile!

Good luck!


willason profile image
willason in reply to

Thanks for your prompt reply. I certainly am open to investigating non-prescription supplements. I will review the info you provided. Thanks again!

in reply to willason

When you get a chance to read the post with links at the bottom of the post, I would appreciate any feedback you may have on possibly improving it! Btw, the link where people are discussing their results on the protocol will take a little while to fully load because it has gotten so large at over 600 replies.

Thank you!


willason profile image
willason in reply to

Okay, thanks again!

Bodyshop profile image
Bodyshop in reply to

was given lexapro after a bit made me feel disconnected, catatonic ,going to try to slow or stop

Lexapro is for depression and anxiety, not for muscle tightness caused by Parkinson's. See:

What you need is more effective treatment for the Parkinson's. I second Art's recommendation of thiamine. It does take 3 to 4 months to make a difference. You are already taking plenty of levodopa. In the meantime you might also consider adding an MAO-B inhibitor such as Azilect.

willason profile image
willason in reply to park_bear

I haven't taken Lexapro yet. I have been stalling on taking it because I know I'm not depressed; however, my physician thinks I tend to worry too much, and suspects that may be triggering my toe-curling episodes, which then brings on my right hip cramps, and those cramps can be painful. I may ultimately decide to reject the Lexapro altogether because I'm not comfortable with it. I will further investigate the thiamine & Azilect. My Doc is also recommending Clonazepam & Amantadine. I need to find out more about them as well. Anyway, thanks for your feedback, really appreciate it.

park_bear profile image
park_bear in reply to willason

Amantadine is approved for Parkinson's and is worth a try. Why on earth your doctor is addicted to prescribing psych meds for a non-psych problem is beyond me. Clonazepam is a tranquilizer.

Toe cramps were my very first Parkinson's symptom, and they still do arise, particularly after hiking for a while. When it happens either I just stop and rest for a bit, or take off my boots and hike barefoot for a while.

Some psych meds cause tremors all by themselves. They should only be prescribed for approved indications and toe cramps are not one of them.

willason profile image
willason in reply to park_bear

Your feedback on Lexapro...combined with my already reluctance to try it...has convinced me to forego taking Lexapro at all. My instincts were telling me to be suspicious of Lexapro for treating PD almost as soon as it was recommended by my neurologist, who happens to be a Movement Disorders Specialist. However, I am going to try the Amantadine. I had already heard good things about Amantadine through some of my recent online research. I may start taking Amantadine as early as tomorrow. So far, all I'm taking is Sinemet & Baclofen. I forgot to mention Baclofen before. I'm not even sure if the Baclofen is helping, but I'm not experiencing any side effects from it. Anyway, thanks again..hopefully I will come up with that "magic bullet" of a drug regimen to diminish my toe-curling and cramp symptoms.

Normally, with dystonia in PD, I would suggest discussing with your doctor an increase in levodopa dose. But, if I understand it correctly, you are already on 1000mg of levodopa per day, 2 years after diagnosis. This is on the high side. So, I would first of all try to understand your regimen better.

The symptomatic relief that your drug regimen gives you varies with time, e.g. time from dose, and time from eating (and what you eat, protein causes problems). As a first step, I'd suggest that you keep a record of your times of dose and diet and your symptoms. This may give hints as to how to go ahead.


willason profile image
willason in reply to johntPM

I too was concerned about my high dosing for Sinemet...but my Doc said not to worry because I'm not experiencing any serious adverse events/side effects from taking it, plus, it helps me. I do need to be more conscious of protein in my diet though...since I do consume skim milk in the morning, deli turkey for lunch, and chicken breast for dinner. Perhaps the protein in my diet is triggering some of my PD symptoms? I do consume fruits & vegetables as well. My diet is a decent mix of protein, carbs, & fats, including some healthy fats. Also, I will have to look into your suggestion to keep a record of my dosing times relative to my diet to determine if there a link to my PD synptoms. Whew, so much to do to manage this PD. Thanks for your helps as I continue to determine how I get though this very challenging time in my life.


Welcome ! I took lexapro for several months and decided to slowly go off it. It didn’t help me personally with toe curling at all and I didn’t like some side effects. The only thing I’ve found to help with toe curling is sinemet and I think exercise helps. Magnesium before bed and I have a spray as well may help a bit too. But for me sinemet resolves it and I only have toe curling the morning and sinemet resolves it for the rest of the day. We are all different though. Glad you’ve joined us!!😊

willason profile image
willason in reply to ConnieD

Appreciate the message! I haven't taken Lexapro yet, even though my neurologist has recommended and prescribed it. I'm not depressed, so I don't understand why I would need to take it. And...after reading your account of trying Lexapro with no success, I'm even more certain that I'm going to forego Lexapro, at least for the time being. I do take Magnesium supplements though, and will continue that. I've never used the spray...I don't know much about it. I need to investigate that, and determine where to buy it, and what brand to use. Anyway, thanks for sending the message and welcoming me to the site, appreciate it.

I too use better you magnesium spray. Works well for cramp. I would suggest Azilect as an add on treatment. I take Azilect and Sinemet 25/100 but only 2 tablets a day. Tremor and slowness are my main symptoms.

willason profile image
willason in reply to gingerj

You're the second person to recommend the magnesium spray. I need to further investigate the spray and determine where to buy it, and what brand to try, assuming there are different brands or versions of it. I know nothing about Azilect, but I think someone else here recommended I look into it. Anyway, nice to meet you, thanks for your feedback, appreciate it, and good luck with your efforts to control your own PD.


You might give mag oil a try for the cramping and possibly the toe curling. Here is a link to a post I did about mag oil and magnesium. The mag oil can also be anti-inflammatory in addition to helping the muscles to relax and is very inexpensive if you make it yourself. Several forum members have found it quite helpful! Despe says her husband no longer has cramps and another member found it relieved cramps and knee pain! It is also good for the whole body.

You can see other posts I have written by clicking my icon.


MMmm7 profile image
MMmm7 in reply to

I highly recommend ReMag for magnesium.

This is formulated by Dr. Carolyn Dean who firmulated its molecules ti be in picometer size that way it is all absorbed by the cells.

Working well for my husband, no more cramping and even the "Sinemet glow" is gone and also his hypomimia typical in PD

Welcome! Yes, thanks to Art and HU, I learned so much about PD, symptoms and how to best alleviate them. Art's mag oil recipe is the best of all mag oils, and I use it on my husband FAITHFULLY every night before going to bed. He hasn't had a cramp for as long as I can remember. He hasn't experienced curling toes though, but I am sure mag oil will sure help a lot.

PS. Thank you, Art! :)

willason profile image
willason in reply to Despe

My neurologist, who is a Movement Disorder Specialist, never mentioned mag oil as an option to relieve my cramping. Anyways, that's great that your husband has had such sustained relief from using it. I will definitely give it a try. Thanks for the welcome message...and the helpful info on mag oil!!

Hi Willason❤️ Welcome to the group! I was diagnosed with PD in early ‘15, but had symptoms years earlier....loss of sense of smell, cough, etc...tremor started in ‘14. I was prescribed with Selegiline (which causes chest pains for me) then carbidopa levodopa (which made me throw up). So I am not taking any prescription meds. With my neurologist’s approval I am on a WFPB diet and exercising. So far, my PD isn’t progressing beyond the left arm/hand tremor and slowness in my movements. I think nutrition is key. But this is just my own humble opinion...for what it’s worth. Good luck, Buddy! WE CAN DO THIS!

Hello!! Wow, NUTRITION is the key. That caught my attention...because I have been a lifelong advocate of good nutrition to maintain a healthy life. Actually, I'm in the process of fine-tuning my diet in hopes that I can get some relief from my parkinson's symptoms. I need to do some research on the WFPB diet. I also need to incorporate exercise into my daily routine. Crossing my fingers that this will help. Anyways, thanks for the encouraging message!!

I came off all meds 15 weeks ago after taking Ropinirole and Sinemet for 7 years. This was just 2 weeks after switching to a LCHF or Keto Diet which works for me. Check my profile by clicking on my image to see my progress and also view

Good luck! Best regards, Phil 2bats

willason profile image
willason in reply to 2bats

Amazing that you came off all meds so quickly after making a diet change. This is my first time hearing of such a success story for a PD patient. I am a big proponent of nutrition as a means to good health. I will definitely check out your profile to review your progress. I will also try to learn more about the keto diet. Who knows, perhaps it could bring me some relief. Anyways, thanks for the message...hope things continue to go well for you!!

Thanks Willason - it’s nice to feel I’m getting my life back, albeit that it’s a long process, but I’m convinced the Keto Diet is the answer. Check out Creatine too!

I too resisted taking anti depressant because I didn’t feel depressed. However I finally agreed to add Fluoxetine to Sinemet and it has made a huge difference to my anxiety level

willason profile image
willason in reply to Jeansm

Sorry for the delay in response...and thanks for your input. I'm glad that's working for you. I am just a little apprehensive about taking it...but who knows, maybe it would help me too. I will have to give it more thought.

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