Levodopa is a prime drug used for the treatment of various symptoms found in Parkinson’s disease patients. Doctors recommend the usage of this medicine in almost every stage of the problem.
Levodopa constitutes a chemical building block to convert human body into dopamine and it replaces the lost dopamine during Parkinson’s disease.
How Levodopa Works?
Human brains produce a chemical messenger named dopamine in the brain. Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease occur whenever the levels of dopamine in brain become low. Reason for this is that most of the cells present in the brain producing dopamine die or about dying. Main problem in this case is that patients may not take dopamine in the form of a drug, as it fails to cross the brain whenever required.
Hence, doctors perform this by the help of Levodopa. Levodopa constitutes a chemical building block convert by the human body into dopamine. It occurs naturally in humans and consuming it as a drug treatment boosts supply and thereby, helps nerve cells in the production of dopamine in relatively higher amounts.
How Levodopa is Beneficial?
Levodopa has proved to be an effective treatment to deal with symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Patients may experience a drastic improvement in the symptoms while intake it, particularly when they have problems related to body stiffness and slow movement.
What is Wearing off Phenomenon of Levodopa?
Initially, Levodopa is able to control various symptoms in well manner with 2 or 3 dosages on a daily basis. However, with time, patients experience variations in both non-motor and motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and that too approximately 3 to 4 hours after they intake Levodopa medicine. This is because; the problem literally wears off and causes worsening or re-emerging of Parkinson’s disease symptoms. Later on, symptoms improve in a typical manner once a person takes next dose after about 15 minutes to 45 minutes.
Wearing off usually takes place frequently with the progression of Parkinson’s disease and when it occurs, control of both non-motor and motor symptoms fluctuates. Since the problem of wearing off is frequent, it creates further difficulty in the control of symptoms and predictions associated with overall effectiveness of the respective medicine. Wearing off problem may take place during any time once you start with the consumption of Levodopa, although it develops commonly after at least 5 years of the onset of your motor symptoms.
Wearing Off Symptoms
Wearing off problem varies with each individual with Parkinson’s disease. In some of the patients, wearing off comes with the first sign of tremor, while for other people, it indicates body stiffness and difficulty while initiating body movements. However, wearing symptoms do not have any relationship with body movements and may involve experiences associated with fatigue, anxiety, mood changes/fluctuations and difficulty in thinking, sweating and restlessness.
When to Discuss with Neurologist/Doctor?
If you notice any change in your regular symptoms’ pattern in Parkinson’s disease, you should make sure to discuss about it with the neurologist, as you may deal with the problem of wearing off. Moreover, before you should take Levodopa, you should intimate your doctor, if you face-
- Respiratory problems, such as asthma and COPD i.e. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- Cardiac problems, including hardening of arteries, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, heart attack in the past or irregular heartbeat
- Kidney and Liver Problems
- Hormonal problems
- Intestinal or stomach ulcer
While discussing with your doctor, he will make the necessary adjustments in the existing medication regime and thereby, help you in controlling symptoms in a far better way. For instance, your doctor may reduce the interval between your doses of Levodopa and increase the number of dosages you intake on a daily basis for Parkinson’s disease.
- Parkinson’s Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Investigations, Treatment
- What Happens To Someone With Parkinson’s Disease?
- What Are The Early Signs Of Parkinson’s Disease?
- What Are The Five Stages Of Parkinson’s Disease?
- What is the Life Expectancy of Someone with Parkinson’s Disease?
- How Long Does It Take For Parkinson’s Disease To Progress?