Parkinson's disease, which mostly affects older people but can even occur in younger adults, results from the gradual degeneration of nerve cells in the portion of the midbrain that controls body movements. The first signs are likely to be barely noticeable -- a feeling of weakness or stiffness in one limb, or a fine trembling of one hand when it is at rest. Eventually, the shaking (tremor) worsens and spreads, muscles become stiffer, movements slow down, and balance and coordination deteriorate...
Levodopa is thought to be the most effective drug for controlling symptoms. But many doctors prescribe dopamine agonists in the beginning of the disease. This is because after a few years, levodopa can cause motor complications (times when the medicine suddenly stops working or when
you have uncontrollable jerking movements). Talk to your doctor about which medicines are best for you.
Increasing, decreasing, or stopping
the medicines you are taking may cause big changes in your symptoms and can be
dangerous. Even if a medicine doesn't seem to be working, when you stop taking
it, your symptoms of Parkinson's disease may be worse.
Taking medicine with food
Early in the disease, it might be helpful to take pills with food to help
with nausea, which may be caused by some of the medicines for Parkinson's
Later in the disease, taking the medicines at least 1 hour before
meals (and at least 2 hours after meals) may help them work best.
medicines for Parkinson's disease don't work as well if you take them at the
same time you eat food with protein in it, such as meat or cheese. The protein
can block the medicine and keep it from working as well as it should.
In this article
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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