The Pharmacy by Hilda B.
his is only a small part of my story but like others, I've found stories have chapters and this is just one of mine.
Who do you go to for your drug and supplement information? If you are like me chances are good you talk with your doctor. But did you know there is someone else even more qualified to answer those questions? Yuppers, it’s your local pharmacist. It’s their job after all to know all the ins and outs of our prescriptions, OTC meds and even what we eat and drink that may interact with them & when timing matters.
Some good information I got from my own pharmacist these past several weeks:
We all know to avoid things like milk and pudding with some of our meds but I didn’t consider my vitamins. Or my Calcium supplements. Or the fact that they and PD meds could also have interactions. Read all labels even vitamins and/or mineral supplements. Why? Because any minerals found in supplements (calcium, magnesium, aluminum, or iron) can bind to the carbi/levodopa (Sinemet) and may interfere with its absorption. It's best to use the two-hour rule: take minerals two-hours before or after taking your PD meds. To be safe make sure to read the fine print on ALL the over-the-counter supplements.
BTW, do not take more than 600mg of calcium at one time because your body cannot absorb more than that. So much for my 1200 mg dose pills. ha Also, be sure to spread the doses out during the day.
I have some excess saliva and drooling. The pharmacist said there is a drug that could help dry up the saliva, but that it may cause constipation. And that is something that is already a problem with Parkinson's for me and others.
Do you have morning dizziness? I did & now I know why. I took my carb/levo (Sinemet) as soon as I woke up and then felt lightheaded for half an hour or so. Well, our heart rate and blood pressure drop while we sleep and the Sinemet may also cause your blood pressure to drop, and that could actually be the cause of the dizziness. If you experience this try to move around some and wait say half an hour or so before taking the Sinemet. If that doesn't work, talk with your PD doctor.
Do you take Stalevo? Cost got you down? The only difference between Stalevo versus taking Sinemet and entacapone (Comtan) is that with Stalevo, it's all in one pill and it costs more.
BTW, even if you get your scripts somewhere else any pharmacist will gladly answer your questions. So next time you have a medicine related question perhaps just simply ask your local pharmacist. You might be surprised. I sure was.
It’s been a steep learning curb this PD thing. Whew! So much to absorb. I’m sure I will learn more as time goes by and so will you. We got this!