Is it better to take my medicine with food?
Taking Sinemet (levodopa) at the same time as taking food decreases the maximum effect of the drug and slows its absorption. Foods rich in protein (meats, egg products) or in fat are particularly likely to cause this problem. It is therefore recommended to take the Sinemet (levodopa) 30 to 60 minutes before a meal to avoid accentuating the motor fluctuations (periods on-off). However, it is sometimes necessary to take this medication with food when uncomfortable nausea occurs. A low protein and fat snack, such as a fruit or a biscuit, is preferable.
For drugs in the family of agonists (Mirapex, Permax, Requip, Parlodel), their effectiveness is not affected by food. However, taking them after a meal or snack reduces the risk of digestive side effects, such as nausea.
I heard we could not take grapefruit juice with the drugs?
There is an interaction between grapefruit and some drugs. A substance contained in the fruit increases the concentration of the drugs and can thus make them toxic. However, the vast majority of drugs used for the relief of Parkinson’s disease are compatible with grapefruit juice. Parlodel (bromocrptine) is the exception, so it is not recommended to take it with this medicine. If you want to make sure that grapefruit juice is not contraindicated with all of your medication, do not hesitate to ask your pharmacist to check your record on it.
Are there natural products that can replace my medication?
The natural products available to relieve Parkinson’s disease, usually contain natural levodopa, the same product as in Sinemet. On the other hand, these preparations lack the second ingredient of Sinemet, making it possible to reduce the risk of digestive side effects. Thus, at the same dose, the natural product will cause more nausea, cramps and diarrhea. In addition, the concentrations are more often changing. So although some natural products are helpful for other indications, the relief of Parkinson’s symptoms is more effective and safe with “traditional” medications.