Jump to content
helplinedonate
  • Announcements

    • ForumAdmin

      Frequently Asked Questions - Step by step guides

      Do you need assistance registering, logging in, posting, etc? Please visit the all new Frequently Asked Question Forum for step-by-step guides. Click the link below to access these helpful guides. Frequently Asked Questions
    • ForumAdmin

      Recursos Nuevos en Español

      http://www.parkinson.org/ayuda   http://www.parkinson.org/espanol    
    • ForumAdmin

      Línea de Ayuda 1-800-473-4636

      Línea de Ayuda 1-800-473-4636   ¿Qué es la línea de ayuda 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636) de la Fundación Nacional de Parkinson? Es un número de teléfono gratuito que ayuda a las personas con la enfermedad de Parkinson, sus familiares, amigos y profesionales de salud, a solucionar diferentes inquietudes.   La línea de ayuda ofrece: Información actualizada Apoyo emocional Referidos a profesionales de salud Recursos comunitarios Amplia variedad de publicaciones gratis    
Patrick Exley

Panic Attacks or Something Else?

Recommended Posts

Hello. I'm a 40 year old male diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease initially in May 2015 and then confirmed with DAT scan in Jan 2016. I'm currently on Stalevo 200 4x per day, Rasagiline 1mg & Sinemet ER 50-200 1x per night. I also typically take 0.5mg of Lorazepam to help me sleep at night. Without it I tend to wake up with stiffness in my left leg (although the Sinemet ER has helped reduce this problem). I'm still working full time, and Parkinson's really hasn't impacted that part of my life at all until about 2 weeks ago. I travel 40 to 50% of the time so am very accustomed to that. But 2 weeks ago I quickly developed shortness of breath, chest tightness, tingling in hands & feet, indigestion, etc. one morning within about 4 to 5 hours. I went to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack, and everything checked out fine (heart ok, lungs ok, no blockages, no clots, bloodwork ok). The EMS suspected it was a panic attack. About a week later I had a repeat of this, again while traveling for business. I knew that my heart & lungs were healthy so I was able to control my breathing & cope with the symptoms that subsided about 5 hours upon initial onset. Since then I've been fine aside from the occasional palpitation. I was able to run 2 miles this morning & put in a quick 30 min of weight training without any real problems. My resting HR can be a little high sometimes (today it is about 80 & climbs to about 90 to 95 when standing), but this usually doesn't bother me. I'm just curious if you've experienced this before in Parkinson's patients, and how is it treated? A mild anti-depressant assuming it is anxiety? The strange part is that I don't feel any more stressed than usual. MY PCP has recommended that I see a cardiologist to rule out autonomic dysfunction, but I haven't booked this appt yet (hopeful that it is just anxiety). I have an appt w/ my neuro in two days so I hope to understand more about what is going on, but am a little concerned. Is there an easy way to distinguish between anxiety/panic attacks & autonomic dysfunction? I've probably done too much reading on the Google. :) I do have REM sleep disorder too...typically acting out dreams nightly. Thanks in advance for any feedback!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Usually this is Parkinson related and if you have never had this in your life before PD it may be wearing off and taking meds at closer intervals may be helpful and alleviate this issue.  Ask your doc about every 4 or 3 hour dosing of Sinemet.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,Patrick, doctor Okun is right,I have experienced similar symptoms with or without sinemet.I was told by my MD exactly what doctor Okun said.It helped to some extent,but wearing off of medications bring out all the symptoms you mentioned,anxiety,panic attacks,SOB,e.t.c.I just learned to live with these symptoms/side effects.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you both for the replies. I met with my neuro yesterday, and we are trying a new medicinal cocktail. I was on Stalevo 200 4x per day along with one Sinemet ER 50-200 at night in addition to the 1mg of Rasagiline daily. We are keeping the Rasagiline, but replacing the Stalevo with Sinemet 25-100 as needed (up to 10 doses per day, but I'm hopeful that 6 will be plenty) and Neupro patch (2mg to start for 2 weeks & then 4mg). I'm one day in, and feel a little better already...hoping that trend continues. I'd be interested to hear others' opinions/experiences of Neupro, good or bad. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posting for you.  On Neupro and other agonists remember to monitor for impulse control behaviors (even if less on the patch).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Patrick,

I experienced what appeared to be a sudden onset of cardiac issues.  An evaluation by a cardiologist ruled out cardiac disease.  The problem lasted about two months and now  happens only once in a while.  My hart rate has increased and my blood pressure decreased - a side effect of PD meds.  I find that I experience a greater since of anxiety in the mornings.  .25 of Xanax helps me stay relaxed.  Slow, deep breathing and alternate nostril breathing helps tremendously.  Physical exercises are outstanding for dealing with Parkinson's.  Also, be observant of how protein ingestion affects your meds; this is a big issue for me.  Good Luck. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you dmCwolfeSounds like we experienced similar cardiac symptoms. I'm still seeing them occasionally (dizzy, shortness of breath, tight chest, metallic taste), but they typically coincide with either a high stress situation or an off period. I'm up to 7x of Sinemet 25-100 daily now & one Sinemet CR 50-200 nightly. That seems to have helped control the symptoms. I too sometimes have to take 0.25mg of Lorazepam to relieve the anxiety. Also, my neuro prescribed Effexor XR 37.5mg for anxiety, but I prefer to not take it daily as it does make me quite drowsy. I try to exercise 5 days a week now. I'm a runner at heart (in fact it was a stiffness problem while training for a half marathon that ultimately led to my diagnosis), but I've also recently discovered zumba. It's a lot of fun, and I find that learning the moves is helpful for relieving my symptoms. I haven't actually taken a zumba class yet (still a little self conscious about my moves or lack thereof), but I would definitely suggest looking into that, yoga, thai chi or boxing. Thanks again for your feedback!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the note.  Sometimes taking Sinemet doses closer together can eliminate this issue of wearing off shortness of breath or anxiety.  That is a potentially good strategy to consider with your doc.  Thanks for sharing,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×