anti-parkinson’s medications have many undesired and sometimes unpleasant actions, independently and the result of combination with other medications (drug interactions). These can range from nausea (common with lEvodopa and dopaminE agonist medications) and drowsiness (common with antianxiEty medications, ANTIDEPRESSANTS, DOPAMINE AGONISTS, DOPAMINERgics, and muscle relaxants/antispasmodics) to serious and potentially life-threatening complications such as liver damage (a rare but known side effect of the COMT inhibitor tolcapone) and blood disorders. Side effects that pose potential concerns are called adverse reactions.
People with Parkinson’s disease should not take certain medications unless the benefits clearly outweigh the likely side effects. Such medications include most antipsychotics and MAOI antidepressants. Many minor side effects subside after the medication is taken over time; most adverse reactions resolve if the person stops taking the medication. Each time a new medication is introduced or the medication schedule is changed, the pharmacist or neurologist should review all of the medications the person with Parkinson’s is taking and discuss any new side effects that may occur. People who use anti-Parkinson’s medications should not take any over-the-counter medications, including herbal remedies, without discussing possible side effects and interactions with a pharmacist or neurologist.