For some time, it has been known that Haldol (Haloperidol) is one drug that should be avoided by people who have Parkinson’s disease. It amazes me that conferences I have attended, webinars I have seen, things I have read by specialized doctors in the PD community all reiterate the claim: stay away from this and other like drugs.
However, when you talk to many PD patients, they have no idea that there is any concern over certain drugs being administered to PD patients. Why? Because in most cases, they administered while you are in the hospital for some other reason other than PD related and the medical staff is unaware of the dangers, as well.
Most nurses AND doctors are not educated in the field of Parkinson’s disease and so administering drugs to calm a patient is seemingly protocol – NOT.
Over Thanksgiving, my mother n-law was telling about her time in the hospital a few years back and a doctor on duty ordered an MRI for her. She fought with the orderly over going to have it done as she lay in her hospital bed. She told the orderly, after insisting she wasn’t stepping foot in that room, that she had a pace maker. The doctor later came to her and apologized for that ‘minor’ overlook. What if she hadn’t been coherent? What if…
The point: you have to be proactive with your care and treatment. You have to know more about you than those caring for you or a life-threatening mistake could occur (see my previously published article of a PD patient and their experience with Haldol as told by his son in-law).
So, if you have PD, here are the drugs you need to make a note of to AVOID: Haloperidol (marketed as Haldol, Haldol Decanoate, and Haldol Lactate). This is an antii-psychotic drug, often prescribed to people with schizophrenia. Other like drugs include risperidone (Risperdal), aripiprazole (Abilify) and olanzapine (Zyprexa). These drugs will play havoc on your brain or much worse. One conference speaker (doctor – movement disorder specialist) went so far as to say they will KILL a person with PD.
There are, however, two drugs (antipsychotic) that can be used without a problem to the PD patient: quetiapine (Seroquel) and clozapine (Clozapine).
Well, I have done my Haldol rant for the year, but I’ll be back just in case you forget.