Is delaying medication harmful?

Given that the medications only treat the symptoms, and do not cure the disease, does the disease progress any faster if a person does not take all medications recommended by the doctor?  I am not a big fan of taking pills especially given all the possible side effects.

Medication Assistance is availableTaking the right medicine, at the right time, in the right amount is the correct answer.  Certain principles do apply.  Abnormal movement patterns and difficulty with movement (such as stiffness, slowness, and loss of fluid movements) due to PD can lead to changes in a person’s activity level, new habits in how we move, and overtime our movement becomes less and less like the pattern of movement normal to a person prior to PD.  It is thought that waiting too long or under-dosing your medicine can worsen your movement and lead to this cascade of events that can further change how you move.

What is not known is if this actually exaggerates the brain changes of PD?  Before your doctor’s visit, think about how your movement is changing and whether you are doing things differently due to these changes. Are you not using your hand as much for tasks due to tremor or other problems? Is walking changed? Are you experiencing pain or discomfort?

Just as under-dosing can be a problem so can overdosing so be sure to talk with your doctor about the right medicine timing for you.  Learn more about medication and side effects.


1 Comment

Filed under Parkinson's Medical therapy, Self-Care

One response to “Is delaying medication harmful?

  1. My opinion is yes. When you wait too long it is harmful. Those that start meds right away can maintain their prior PD for a longer time. The ones that wait till their activities of daily living are so effected will have a hard time of getting back to where they can function better.
    For example, I started meds on the day I was diagnosed one year ago. I can not walk very well with a lot of falls without taking meds. With meds I can continue to work, climb mountains, cycle great distances and other daily exercises that I enjoy. I’am in better shape at 48 than I was in my twenties.
    Another example, A gentleman at support group says he won’t take meds because he thinks meds progress the disease. Just over the last year he has gained over 100 lbs. He doesn’t walk very well. He is very much effected in all of his movements. He will eventually have to take meds because of disease progression.The meds will help his movements a lot. He will have a hard time getting back into shape once taking meds. It will be hard for him to change his sedatary lifestyle that he is accustom to.
    They say exercise might even delay disease progression. If we start out in great shape our activities of dalily living become so much easier. There are people out there with PD for fifteen or twenty years that run marathons. I know everybody is different in this disease. Talk to your Dr. if your PD is starting to slow you down. Don’t wait too long till things are so bad.

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