Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson’s Disease: Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions related to Parkinson’s disease.

Q: Should I stop my Parkinson’s disease medications before general surgery or an operation?

A: Some neurologists recommend that medications be stopped 12 hours prior to general anesthesia for surgery. If you are on a complicated drug regimen, ask your surgeon prior to surgery to contact the physician responsible for your Parkinson’s disease therapy so that your drugs can be given appropriately.

Q: Can I drink alcohol if I am being treated for PD?

A: A modest intake of alcohol is not a problem for people with Parkinson’s disease. However, medications should not be taken with alcohol, and you should avoid alcohol altogether while you are building up the dose of a new drug.

Q: Are there any vitamins or minerals that cure Parkinson’s disease?

A: Vitamins and minerals certainly contribute to a healthy lifestyle and supplement food intake. However, none have been found to halt the disease process or cure PD.

Q: I have read that I should avoid protein and dairy products in particular?

A: This is untrue for the majority of patients with PD. We all need adequate amounts of all the food groups to maintain health. A protein redistribution diet can be useful in a very, very small number of patients who have fluctuations in response to their standard SinemetTM. This diet should be developed with the cooperation of your dietician and neurologist. If it is not effective in one week, it should be abandoned. It is true that any extra-large meal can cause a delay in gastric emptying and this may make anyone feel sluggish and tired. Most people with PD do better eating more frequent smaller meals with high-energy, easily digestible snacks in-between.

Q: Do I have to stop my PD meds when I’m taking drugs for another illness?

A: Do not stop taking your Parkinson’s disease drugs if you have to take medications for another medical problem. You can take antibiotics, painkillers, etc. Bear in mind that if you do get a common viral infection such as a cold or flu, for example, or if you develop another illness that makes you feel unwell, your PD symptoms may be worse for a while because of the extra stress on your body as a result of the added illness. If you are taking ropinerole, and are prescribed CiproTM it is possible that your ropinerole dose may have to be adjusted while you are taking the antibotic as CiproTM can affect absorption.

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