Tips on symptom and medication management

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Tips on symptom and medication management

InfoLine tips on symptom and medication management

The Parkinson’s InfoLine is staffed by Parkinson’s Registered Nurses who have more than 70 years of experience between them.

One such Nurse is Cathy Melton who recently joined a Zoom meeting with Support Group participants. She discussed symptom and medication management and we have summarised her tips below for those who could not make the Zoom meeting.

Not receiving Zoom meeting invitations via your Support Group Leader? Then email me directly at felicity.jones@parkinsonsnsw.org.au . I will then email you an invitation which will connect you to Zoom quickly and easily so you can meet up with us via your smartphone or computer.

Tips on symptom and medication management from Nurse Cathy:

  • Where possible take your medication 30 minutes before meals.
  • It is better to eat smaller meals more frequently to manage issues with protein, medication, and mealtime clashes. Also, a smaller meal has less of an impact on the breakdown of the food into amino acids for absorption.  (Like food,  medications are broken down into amino acids and are therefore competing to cross over into the bloodstream).
  • Protein is a very important part of the diet, but it is important that it be separated from medications. This applies to all sources of protein – animal and plant. Separation of the two allows the medication opportunity to be as effective as possible.
  • Know when your best time of the day is and try to plan or book your appointments around that time.
  • Madopar Rapid® is a quick-acting and easily absorbed medication which does not need to be broken down in the stomach to release the active ingredient.  It has only a short duration and can assist with ‘wearing off’, or at the start of the day.
  • Madopar® may cause diarrhoea in some people with Parkinson’s. Talk with your Neurologist
  • If you are living with Parkinson’s and feel stiff when waking, prepare the morning dose of medication the night before and have it beside the bed. Take the dose upon waking and wait 20-30 minutes for it to become effective prior to getting up. Make sure you don’t lie down again after taking the medication, you can recline at an angle to allow for the medication to move to the stomach.
  • People living with Parkinson’s often feel light-headed or dizzy.  This may be Postural Hypotension – a lowering of the blood pressure when moving from a lying or sitting position.  Take your time getting up, wriggle your toes, shake your legs a little, stretch your muscles before standing and don’t rush.

You can speak with our Parkinson’s Registered Nurses on the Infoline during business hours by calling 1800 644 189. The same number can be used to make appointments to speak with our Parkinson’s Counsellors via telephone, Zoom or Skype. These services are provided at no cost to the consumer.