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jul

delaying meds

6 posts in this topic

Hello -

While medications for PD can alleviate symptoms and increase quality of life, the medications often have side effects.  My inclination is to delay medication as long as reasonably possible - I am wary of medications in general.  Also, I read that Levodopa loses it effectiveness - that's scary.  But i read elsewhere that's a myth!  Right now, my symptoms are mild, but my neurologist said he will put me on the dopamine agonist Requip when the time comes.  Should I jump on the medications bandwagon sooner for quality of life, or follow my instincts and delay?  Are there any reasons at all to delay medications once the PD symptoms are stronger?  I like exercise - I'm willing to try and control my symptoms with lots of walking and biking and more.  I appreciate any insights whatsoever on these weighty decisions!!

Jul

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Dr. Okun has repeatedly said not to delay medication when symptom relief is necessary. Because PD is progressive, all PD medications eventually lose effectiveness. If you decide against medication now, you can begin proven neuroprotective behaviors like exercise (Tai Chi and Qi Gong are excellent), stress reduction, mindfulness, and meditation. I've read stories by PWP who are able to cut back on medication or even eliminate it by instituting complementary therapies such as these.

Dianne

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Let's tackle one issue at a time. As far as Levodopa (Sinemet) is concerned, there are many physicians that will use it as a last resort due to the posibility of losing it's effectiveness. It seems that a new wave of physicians and medical professionals that believe "why should we wait to improve someone's quality of life," let's use Sinemet (carbidopa/levodopa) now.

When assessing whether someone should start medication at the onset of diagnoses or the onset of symptom severity, it is completely up to the patient. As you have stated you are very active with exercise, walking, and biking. This is a great way to stave off some of the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease. My recommendation is this, when the symptoms start to effect your quality of life, it is time to consider medication. Quality of life is one thing many of us lose with disease unless we stay active, which it sounds like you do. Even when medication is started it is crucial to stay as active as your body will let you. Walking, meditation, stretching, yoga, and staying nutritionally sound are 

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It appears that Dr. Okun are on the same sheet of music when it comes to this issue. In my first post to you I believe I covered many of the non medical interventions that one can do (meditation, yoga, exercise, etc...) to help delay the use of medication.

I hope I helped and please keep me posted.

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Thanks so much for the input - there's a lot of confusing, sometimes contradictory info out there.  Luckily, I have the option of taking things slowly for now.  In the meantime, I bought a new bike yesterday.

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If you ever get overwhelmed with confusion feel free to contact me. I am glad to hear you bought a new bike. If you still have a good bit of balance, biking is a great way to not only strengthen the muscles but also to stretch the muscles as well. Speaking of stretching, make sure you do a few stretches of the legs and back before each ride because this can truly help you from pulling any muscles, ligaments, or tendons. I just took my bike in for it's annual check-up before riding season is here.

I hope this helps. Have fin and please keep me posted.

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