Levodopa cannot really be called as a dopamine agonist. Levodopa essentially goes to the brain in order to be activated as dopamine to compensate the body’s natural level of dopamine, which reduces in Parkinson’s disease. Dopamine agonists can be used as substitutes of Levodopa.
What are Dopamine Agonists?
Dopamine agonists are essentially compounds which act on the dopamine receptors in order to reduce the symptoms of the disease aim to treat. It is considered to mimic the neurotransmitter to continue its function for proper working of the body. Dopamine agonists are not as strong as levodopa, and can be used in the initial stages of Parkinson’s disease. Sometimes, doctors are seen to prescribe dopamine agonists along with levodopa for desired results.
What are the Side Effects of the Dopamine Agonists?
The common side effects of dopamine agonists are varied. They include-
Sleep Disturbances: Patients are seen to complain of sleep disturbances after the use of dopamine agonists.
Nausea: Common symptoms of side effects may include feeling of nausea and vomiting tendency.
Weight Loss: The patient may undergo a lot of weight loss or even suffer from eating disorder like anorexia.
Lack of Energy: The patient may feel drowsy and lack energy throughout the day.
Hallucinations: Patients sometimes become prey of hallucinations due to prolonged use of the dopamine agonists.
What is the Rationale Behind the Use of Dopamine Agonists?
Dopamine agonists are proved to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. It may be used as an instead of levodopa therapy at least during the initial stages of Parkinson’s disease. Levodopa therapy is considered to be quite strong and even its side effects are extreme. Thus, the use of dopamine agonists can also help in delaying the use of levodopa for a patient with Parkinson’s disease. Besides, these can be used for the treatment of varied disease including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder.
Is Medicinal Treatment Sufficient For Treating Parkinson’s Disease?
Just the use of medicines cannot be a good option for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. In order to live a quality life with Parkinson’s disease the patient has to invest a good amount of time on exercising and also have a balanced diet. There is no definite exercise suitable for Parkinson’s disease. Any exercise that keeps the body of the patient moving works best. Consistency is the main key. Regular exercise help patients get rid of the symptoms like stiffness and slow movement. A healthy and balanced diet is equally important. The patient should have the knowledge of the foods to avoid and the foods to eat more for treating Parkinson’s disease. It is important to discuss with the doctor the possible food that may interfere with the functions of the medications.
What are the Precautions To Be Aware Of When Diagnosed With Parkinson’s Disease?
It is crucially important to bring certain lifestyle changes once a patient is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Arrange for a Caregiver: The patient should remember that such a neurological disease can be extremely disabling. Thus the need of a care giver is crucial. If a patient stays alone, he should gradually start making arrangements of having a caregiver after the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
Make Sure That There are No Obstacles: The environment should be made hurdle free as much as possible. Since the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease adversely affect the ability of the patient to freely move around, obstacles in the room should be removed as much as possible. Installing of bars in bathroom and other places may prove to be beneficial for support.
It must be remembered that one must not just depend on medicines for managing Parkinson’s disease. Staying active may help in delaying the progress of the disease.
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