Episode 96: PD Medications and Side Effects

Adverse effects, often called side effects, are a common phenomenon that accompanies the use of many drugs, including ones used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Any treatment is a balance between the desired effects of a drug and undesirable ones, so how to best ease symptoms while making the treatment tolerable. Specific to classes of drugs used for PD, some of the side effects may be drowsiness, insomnia, light headedness, hallucinations, cognitive impairment, swelling of the legs, dry mouth, weight gain, compulsive behavior, and others. These are just possibilities, and a good working relationship with a PD health care team can help avoid many of them. Beyond the PD team, keeping other health care providers informed is advisable since drug interactions can occur, so all practitioners (including dentists) should be aware of all medications that a person is taking, prescription, over-the-counter and even supplements.

In this podcast episode, neurologist Dr. Irene Richard of the University of Rochester Medical Center discusses several of the various drugs and drug classes used to treat the symptoms of PD in relation to the adverse effects that can accompany them. She offers insights into several ways to avoid or minimize adverse effects of drug therapy, what clinicians should tell people starting a new drug, and what people should ask as well as be aware of and report back.

Released: December 29, 2020

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