You have been told you have, or someone you love has, Parkinson’s disease. You’ve also heard it is incurable. Nevertheless, can it be treated? If so, what medicines are used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD)? This question was posed on a site I wrote for and I thought I’d share my article here.
First, let me say, I was diagnosed with PD over five years ago and misdiagnosed over fifteen years ago. As stated earlier, Parkinson’s disease is not curable, but it is treatable – to a degree. Just maybe the day you’ve reached your last degree will be the day they announce a cure.
No one I have ever met likes taking pills and yet, to treat Parkinson’s effectively, there is no way around it for the common patient. Each patient must also understand that PD affects each person differently and so each patient is treated differently and different medications will be used accordingly.
My drug therapy has been conservative, according to my neurologist. For example, one medication (if needed) is added at a time at my check up. This is done so that the physician is able to identify correctly, which medication a patient is reacting to, should side effects occur. This is a much safer procedure than starting with eight pills, three times a day and working backward.
Drug companies/pharmaceuticals would go out of business if they were not constantly coming up with improvements to the treatments already available on the market. That, in and of itself says there is progress being made in treatments for PD and other diseases/illnesses.
While I said earlier that PD is not curable, it is treatable. Treatable, however, will look different for you than it does for another patient. Some will be behind you in their progression of the disease, some ahead. It also depends on how each individual doctor believes or thinks best how the disease should be treated. As you can see, many different factors come into play when a physician must come up with a custom treatment for each patient that will best suit him (the patient).
Of the medications available that physicians choose for their patients, some of the more tolerated and beneficial seem to be Mirapex (although noted with serious side effects for some), Sinemet, Artane, Requip, and Comtan. Other various medications might be added to the mix dependent upon the patient’s symptoms and needs. Those could possibly be Azilect, Lexapro or another anti-depressant (one of the first notable symptoms of PD is depression), Amantadine, etc.
Each patient is unique and different and patients’ needs and reactions to their treatment will be different. What works for one may not be tolerated or work well for another. Hopefully, the drug treatment is scaled to your individual needs and will treat your symptoms, but only your doctor can decide with you what is best and what is needed. New steps are being taken every day and progress is being made at nearly the same rate in working towards a cure. Until then, it is best for patients to follow their regimented treatments until something better comes along. It will if we all keep fighting and do not give up.
Journeying with you –