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Taking meds and waiting for the cure

Drugs… we can’t live with them and we can’t live without them. They never do all that we hope they will, but usually do more than we want them to do.

Each medication comes with a list, as long as a roll of toilet paper, warning of possible side effects, from “minor” to “severe.” As we all know, side effects are only minor if we are not the one experiencing them. Grouped as polar opposites, these almost always include: constipation or diarrhea; weight loss or weight gain; and drowsiness or insomnia. Sadly, we do not get to choose one from column A and one from column B. These side effects just appear as uninvited and unwanted guests.

Then there are the possible “severe” side effects like “unusual twitching or muscle movements.” Are they kidding… these are a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease. Mounting research links newer dopamine agonists to compulsive gambling, shopping, and overeating. How desperate are we to shoot the dice on this one?

Medications are key to treating Parkinson's disease, but there is no "one size fits all" treatment. Just as symptoms and progression vary from person to person, so do responses to different drugs. An ideal drug regimen controls your symptoms without causing side effects that you cannot tolerate. Many of us swallow 25 or more pills a day to achieve this.

Finding the best combination of medications for you may take some time. Doctors generally will try one drug at a time, starting with low doses, to minimize side effects. Based on your feedback, your doctor will change dosages and combinations of drugs so that your medications act together to help relieve your symptoms.

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“One pill makes you smaller. And one pill makes you tall. And the ones that Mother gives you don’t do anything at all.” Jefferson Airplane, White Rabbit.
photo of lots and lots of pill bottles

Getting the most from your medications

  • Know the names of your medications, when and how to take them, and possible side effects.
  • Report any changes in your condition to your doctor.
  • Keep a typed list of all your current medications and the doses and times taken in your wallet or purse.
  • Consider wearing a Medic Alert bracelet.
  • Take your medications on time to avoid having an "off" period.
  • Always carry your medications with you. In case of traffic or inclement weather delays, keep a few doses, a can of juice, and a few crackers in your car.
  • Find a pharmacist who will track your medications and be alert to dangerous drug interactions.



email us directly at: Sheryl@pdplan4life.com

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Without express written consent, this material may only be used for your own personal and noncommercial uses which do not harm the reputation of PDPlan LLC, provided that you do not remove any copyright. To request permission to reproduce, please contact PDPlan LLC at Sheryl@pdplan4life.com

blogger partner WPC 2016 in Portland