Monday, June 17, 2024
Monday, June 17, 2024
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Benadryl And Parkinson’s Disease

Mechanism Of Action Of Available Drugs

Benadryl long term side effects! I WISH I had KNOWN!

The major classes of drugs currently available for the treatment of idiopathic Parkinsons disease are shown in Table 1. Many aim to increase dopamine in the brain, by increasing its production or altering its metabolism .

Table 1

Drugs with alter metabolism in boxed red italics


Levodopa is absorbed from the small intestine and transported into the brain where it is converted to dopamine. Levodopa has a short plasma half-life of about one hour. Early in Parkinsons disease, levodopa has a long duration of action which is independent of plasma concentration, but as the disease progresses, the duration of the effect reduces. The short-duration effect is strongly linked to plasma concentration and lasts, at most, hours.

Slow-release preparations are gradually absorbed, resulting in more sustained plasma concentrations. They have reduced bioavailability higher doses are required to match the benefit of an equivalent strength of a standard preparation. Rapid release preparations are taken in liquid form to enhance passage through the stomach and absorption from the small intestine.

Dopamine agonists

Apomorphine is a potent emetic so patients must be pre-treated with domperidone 20 mg three times daily orally for at least 48 hours before the first injection. Domperidone should be continued for at least a few weeks once regular intermittent treatment has commenced. The dose can then be tapered slowly as tolerance to the emetic effects of apomorphine usually develops.

What Are The Causes

Drug-induced parkinsonism is caused by medications that reduce dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that works to control bodily movements.

Dopamine is also part of the brains reward system. It helps you feel pleasure and enjoyment, and it supports your ability to learn and focus.

Medications that bind to and block dopamine receptors are called dopamine antagonists. These medications arent used to treat Parkinsons disease. Rather, theyre used to treat other conditions that might seriously impact your quality of life.

If your doctor has prescribed a medication that causes unwanted side effects, you may have options. You may also decide that the side effects are worth it if the medication effectively treats your condition.

Some medications that cause drug-induced parkinsonism include:

Drugs That Increase Dopamine Levels

Because dopamine itself does not cross the blood-brain barrier, it is administered as the precursor levodopa in combination with carbidopa . Carbidopa blocks peripheral dopa decarboxylase, the enzyme that converts levodopa to dopamine within the blood-brain barrier. With the levodopa-carbidopa combination, more levodopa reaches the brain and is converted to dopamine.13 This drug combination was named Sinemet because it decreases the side effects caused by peripheral dopamine, especially nausea and vomiting.

Although some newer agents are now prescribed as first-line therapy, levodopa is still considered the most efficacious treatment for Parkinson’s disease. In addition, a response to this agent confirms the diagnosis. Unfortunately, levodopa’s short duration of action necessitates increasingly frequent dosing as the disease progresses. Thus, doses eventually have to be taken as often as every 90 minutes.

The controlled-release formulation of levodopa-carbidopa has to be broken down in the gastrointestinal tract. It can be taken every four to six hours but, because absorption is reduced, higher total daily dosages are usually required.

The side effects of levodopa in either formulation include orthostatic hypotension, nausea, hallucinations and peak-dose dyskinesias. Levodopa therapy should not be used in patients with narrow-angle glaucoma, and caution is advised in giving this drug to patients with malignant melanoma.

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Find Out Which Drugs Are Anticholinergic

You may not be familiar with the term anticholinergic when it comes to medication. But this type of pharmaceutical medication is very common, and you might even have some in your home right now. They block the chemical acetylcholine from transmitting messages from nerve cells to other cells of the body, which affects muscle contractions and areas of the brain involved in learning and memory.

Milder anticholinergic drugs include those used to treat gastrointestinal disorders and antihistamines like Benadryl. But those are less worrisome at this point, since they were not found, at least in this study, to raise dementia risk. Cognitive problems, however, were shown to be associated with the longer-term use of stronger forms of anticholinergic medications, such as antidepressants, bladder antimuscarinic drugs, epilepsy medications, and drugs to treat Parkinsons disease symptoms.

Histamine And The Brain

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Histamine is known as substance which has a key role in allergic reactions and inflammation, and gastric process , but what may be less well known is that it also acts as a key neurotransmitter . In particular, histamine plays significant roles in arousal, the pituitary gland, appetite and cognition and is considered a “wake-promoting” substance. It may therefore also be important in sleep disorders. Histamine in the brain also plays a part in pain perception.

Stress, allergic reactions, digestion and histamine containing foods all contribute to the release of histamine. Digestion issues and food intolerances are also well known to be very prevalent in PD and also in blocking the effectiviness of Parkinson’s drugs. Anyone with PD will know all about the impacts of stress.

One of the most interesting and important facts I discovered was post mortem studies have revealed that histamine concentration levels are abnormally high in the brains of those with Parkinson’s Disease.

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What To Do To Prevent Drug

The most common drugs linked to this condition are two used to treat schizophrenia or psychotic symptoms of dementia. They are haloperidol and perphenazine . Ask your doctor about parkinsonism if you or a loved one is concerned about a drug, especially these two drugs.

In general:

* Make sure you or a loved one are on the lowest effective dose.* If you already have Parkinsons disease, then tell your doctor if the symptoms appear to be getting worse since starting the drug.* Never stop taking a drug on your own. Talk to your doctor about any concerns.

* Parkinsons Disease Society. Drug-induced parkinsonism.* Albin RL. Parkinsons disease: background, diagnosis, and initial management. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine. 2006 22:735-751.* Alvarez MV, Evidente VG. Understanding drug-induced parkinsonism Separating pearls from oysters. Neurology. 2008 70:e32-e34.

Connies notes: Neuro meds common side effects include dizziness,nausea,headache,vomitting and sleep disorders

What’s Hot In Pd Short And Long

People with Parkinson’s disease frequently struggle to identify drug therapies that can address bothersome symptoms such as sleep dysfunction, bladder urgency, drooling and tremor. Many of the drug therapies such as Benadryl , Advil PM, Alleve PM, common antihistamines, and others pills are readily available over the counter and do not require a prescription. These medications block a cholinergic receptor in the brain, and can improve many Parkinsons disease symptoms. However, the price of taking these drugs may be steep . An older French study of hospitalized Parkinsons disease patients revealed that though 46% of all demented patients were confused, 93% on anticholinergic therapy had delirium and confusion when in the hospital . Deficiencies of the chemical acetylcholine have been reported to underpin thinking issues and shortages of the chemical have been observed in the brainstem, hippocampus, and cortex of Parkinsons disease patients. Though anticholinergic use can result in drowsiness, dry mouth, urinary retention, memory problems as well as constipation, many patients find these therapies useful. In this months Whats Hot column we will address the short and long-term potential side effects of using of anticholinergic medications in Parkinsons disease.

Some practical suggestions include:

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Surgery For Parkinson’s Disease

At one time, surgery was reserved for use in patients with early-onset Parkinson’s disease who became disabled in their prime working years. However, techniques have advanced so rapidly that surgery is now considered an option even in elderly patients as long as they meet medical screening criteria, including failure to respond to available medications and absence of cardiopulmonary risk factors for surgery. It is essential to select a neurosurgeon who is part of a movement disorders team with considerable experience in performing the surgical procedures used to treat Parkinson’s disease.

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Levodopa is the most commonly prescribed and most effective medicine for controlling the symptoms of PD, particularly bradykinesia and rigidity.

Levodopa is a chemical found naturally in our brains. When given as a medicine, it is transported to the nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine. It is then converted into dopamine for the nerve cells to use as a neurotransmitter.

Sinemet is made up of levodopa and another drug called carbidopa. Levodopa enters the brain and is converted to dopamine while carbidopa prevents or lessens many of the side effects of levodopa, such as nausea, vomiting, and occasional heart rhythm disturbances. It is generally recommended that patients take Sinemet on an empty stomach, at least ½ hour before or one hour after meals.

There are two forms of Sinemet: controlled-release or immediate-release Sinemet. Controlled-release Sinemet and immediate-release Sinemet are equally effective in treating the symptoms of PD, but some people prefer the controlled release version. Ask your doctor which approach is best for you.

Dopamine agonists

Dopamine agonists are medicines that activate the dopamine receptor. They mimic or copy the function of dopamine in the brain.

Parlodel®, Requip®, and Mirapex® are all dopamine agonists. These medicines might be taken alone or in combination with Sinemet. Generally, dopamine agonists are prescribed first and levodopa is added if the patients symptoms cannot be controlled sufficiently.


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How Should Benadryl Be Taken

A typical dose of Benadryl is 25-50 mg every 4-6 hours. Benadryl may interact with monoamine oxidase inhibitors , other over-the-counter cough, cold, allergy, or insomnia medications, anxiety or sleep medicines, antidepressants, or any other medications that make you feel drowsy, sleepy, or relaxed. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Benadryl has not been adequately evaluated in pregnant women. Benadryl is secreted in breast milk. Because of the risk of stimulation and seizures in infants, especially newborns and premature infants, antihistamines should not be used by nursing mothers.

Common Anticholinergic Drugs Like Benadryl Nytol Linked To Increased Dementia Risk

Original Published:

Nytol, Benadryl, Ditropan and Piriton among the medications identified by scientists as raising likelihood of dementia

A report published online this week in JAMA Internal Medicine offers compelling evidence of a link between long-term use of anticholinergic medications like Benadryl and dementia.

Anticholinergic drugs block the action of acetylcholine. This substance transmits messages in the nervous system. In the brain, acetylcholine is involved in learning and memory. In the rest of the body, it stimulates muscle contractions. Anticholinergic drugs include some antihistamines, tricyclic antidepressants, medications to control overactive bladder, and drugs to relieve the symptoms of Parkinsons disease.

This study is another reminder to periodically evaluate the all drugs youre taking. Look at each one to determine if its really helping, says Dr. Sarah Berry, a geriatrician and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Ive seen people who have been on anticholinergic medications for bladder control for years and they are completely incontinent. These drugs obviously arent helping.

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Side Effects With Levodopa

To avoid use in individuals with known allergy or hypersensitivity to Mucuna pruriens or components.

There have been some side effects of mucuna. In a study of patients with Parkinsons disease, a derivative of Mucuna pruriens caused minor adverse effects, which were mainly gastrointestinal in nature.

Isolated cases of acute toxic psychosis have been reported1, probably due to levodopa content. Therefore, as with Sinemet and Madopar, its use should be avoided in patients with psychosis or schizophrenia

What Other Information Should I Know


Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about diphenhydramine.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

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Anticholinergic Drugs And Dementia

Could the pharmaceutical medications in your medicine cabinet be raising your risk for developing dementia? Unfortunately, thats an entirely possible scenario. New research suggests that very common drugsused to treat a wide variety of conditions including allergies, depression, gastrointestinal problems, and moremight be associated with dementia in older people.

The study, which took place at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, found that certain anticholinergic drugs are associated with a 50 percent higher risk of dementia when taken daily for three years or more.1Coupland, Carol A. et al. Anticholinergic Drug Exposure and the Risk of Dementia.JAMA Internal Medicine. 24 June 2019. Accessed 30 June 2019. utm_source=For_The_Media& utm_medium=referral& utm_campaign=ftm_links& utm_content=tfl& utm_term=062419. These results are based on an investigation that analyzed the data from medical records of more than 225,000 adults without dementia and close to 59,000 with dementia. All the subjects were at least 55 years old, and the average age among those with dementia was 82.

Thrashing And Gnashing: Managing Parkinsons Bedtime Challenges

But I noticed that two things happened. First, my pain decreased considerably a surprise gift! Second, the histamine flicker effect was quite intense for several weeks. After discontinuing using antihistamines every day for seven years, I experienced a Niagara Falls nose as my body adjusted to the change.

There wasnt much research on PD and chronic runny nose, or rhinorrhea, until a 2008 study published in the journal Movement Disorders that associated the phenomenon with olfactory impairment. A 2010 study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience also linked runny nose and PD, but it concluded that there was no significant impact on the sense of smell. A 2011 study, also in Movement Disorders, found rhinorrhea to be a common non-dopaminergic feature of PD, but noted that it was unrelated to both olfactory or motor deficits.

Well, I havent lost all of my sense of smell, but my nasal dripping has increased in some unusual situations.

I seem to have a connection between insomnia and my histamine flare. I have a hyper-arousal time to wake up! event that happens around 11 p.m., and lasts no more than 15 minutes. It makes falling asleep a chore. I had to shift my bedtime because of this histamine flicker, but its a minor inconvenience and its manageable. I have also experienced a rapid-fire histamine flicker when Im passing a kidney stone, or after an orgasm.

And please hand me another Kleenex!

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Tips For People With Parkinsons Who Want To Take Over The Counter Medications During Flu Season

People with PD often tell us that when they get sick with cold and flu-like symptoms, their pharmacist and healthcare professionals warn them to stay away from the medication aisle of the pharmacy. They are told that any over-the-counter medication has the potential to worsen Parkinsons symptoms. Unfortunately, many people interpret this potential worsening as a recommendation to never use these medications.

Also contributing to this issue is a series of reports that medications such as anticholinergics may cause acute confusion and even contribute to long-term cognitive changes. It is important to keep in mind when selecting a cough or flu medication that the intent is not to treat long-term issues.

This flu season we wanted to provide the PD community with some tips to help you navigate Parkinsons while simultaneously addressing cold and flu symptoms:

In 2014, Kim Painter wrote a great article in the USA Today to help individuals and families stay safe in the cold and flu aisle.

Here are some of Kims tips:

  • Treat only symptoms you have and be wary of multi-symptom products.
  • Know your dose and dont overdose.
  • Know your health risks .
  • Don’t double up and accidentally take two medicines with similar ingredients.
  • Consider trying alternatives .

Antipsychotic Drugs Called Neuroleptics

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Drug-induced parkinsonism is due primarily to drugs that block dopamine receptors, particularly the D2 receptors . These drugs are most often the antipsychotic drugs, called neuroleptics, such as haloperidol, chlorpromazine, and trifluoperazine, but include metoclopramide, a gastrointestinal motility enhancer, and the antiemetics prochlorperazine and droperidol. In addition, medications that block synthesis of dopamine, such as alpha-methyl para-tyrosine and alpha-methyl dopa or deplete dopamine also induce parkinsonism. In these cases the pathophysiology is presumably due to diminished dopamine receptor stimulation, resulting in a pharmacologic state closely resembling Parkinson disease.

However, the atypical antipsychotics also block D2 receptors. Yet there is no apparent correlation between the degree of this blockade and the risk for inducing parkinsonism. The explanation for this is uncertain. One current hypothesis is the fast off theory, postulating that the duration of the D2 blockade, rather than the percentage of receptors blocked, determines the likelihood of parkinsonism . A competing theory is that the ratio of 5 HT-2a receptor blockade versus the dopamine D2 receptor blockade is critical because of the interplay between the serotonin and dopamine systems in the brain. An older theory relating extrapyramidal side effects to anticholinergic activity is considered untenable because the concomitant use of anticholinergics does not eliminate the problem.

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Common Anticholinergic Drugs Like Benadryl Linked To Increased Dementia Risk

A report published in JAMA Internal Medicine several years ago highlighted a link between long-term use of anticholinergic medications like Benadryl and dementia. While this study and other observational studies have also found this association, it doesnt prove that these drugs cause dementia. But we do know that anticholinergic drugs can cause confusion and increase fall risk in older people.

Anticholinergic drugs block the action of acetylcholine. This substance transmits messages in the nervous system. In the brain, acetylcholine is involved in learning and memory. In the rest of the body, it stimulates muscle contractions. Anticholinergic drugs include some antihistamines, tricyclic antidepressants, medications to control overactive bladder, and drugs to relieve the symptoms of Parkinsons disease.


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