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Topic Q for Al - Which Parkinson's meds deplete calcium Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By Reflection On 2012.04.28 09:35
Dear Al - you mentioned on another thread that the side-effects of some anti-Parkinson's medications deplete calcium, thereby weakening bones.
Do you know which Parkinson's meds might have this effect?
Is there anything that can be done about it?
thanks - my guy doesn't have a Great Dane to help him if he might fall, and I wish he did.

By karolinakitty On 2012.04.28 09:43
I know I'm not Al...lol...but I have read where Sinemet can deplete calcium in the teeth, particularly if crushed. I also know someone who lost their teeth due to this issue.....
We desperately are looking for a service dog but here in SC i am out of options....even neighboring states are reluctant to help...but I'm still working on it

By Reflection On 2012.04.28 10:52
thanks - very helpful. Scary, too.
Good luck on the service dog - I hope it works for you.

By LOHENGR1N On 2012.04.28 12:28
Reflection, Kk's right L-Dopa is one of the culprits. This question sent me on a search online I found some other interesting things along my way.

Cramping can also be caused by low calcium levels;

"Diuretic medications can induce cramps by depleting body fluid and sodium. AT the same time these fluid depleting drugs can cause the loss of potassium, calcium, and magnesium, identified minerals which can cause cramps. Some name brand drugs known to cause cramps as a side effect include:Donepezil (Aricept-- used for Alzheimer's disease)Neostigmine (Prostigmine -- used for myasthenia gravis)aloxifene (Evista- used to prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women)

Tolcapone (Tasmar-- used for Parkinson's disease)

Nifedipine (Procardia and others -- used for angina and high blood pressure, and other conditions)
Terbutaline (Brethine)and Albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin, asthma medications).
Clofibrate (Atromid-S) and lovastatin (Mevacor), for high cholesterol."
(in case anyone is taking any of these for other conditions along with P.D.)
Also on different sites other anti-Parkinson's medications were listed.

Back to Your question, I'd go online and look at each medicine you're concerned about to find if it depletes calcium. That said what can you do about it? I don't know, you have to be very careful when taking calcium supplements! (even antacids).They have warnings on side they can interact with Anti-Parkinson's medication. And the main one is L-Dopa! Go figure! Another Damned if you do and Damned if you don't aspect of P.D. and it's treatment!

Again if anyone is thinking of trying supplements you should run it by Your Doctor and I'd suggest asking for referral to a dietary specialist trained in and with solid knowledge of working with People who have Parkinson's Disease!

Great question Reflection and I've probably raised more questions than answered. But that's how P.D. seems to operate when you think you have an answer P.D. changes the question.

Again as a reminder to Our growing forum family always run questions by your doctors. We kind of get armed with supporting facts and concerns here to back us up when questioning them. ;) Take care, best of luck and hang in there,

By Reflection On 2012.04.28 14:30
Dear Al & KK - gosh! thank you!
I didn't know this - and I thought I was relatively well informed about PD.
It's kind of upsetting - especially since avoiding L-Dopa isn't viable, and falls are common (my guy has the PIGD/Postural Instability Gait Disorder type of PD, not the tremor type.)
While he gets scabbed knees & bruises frequently, I had thought he was pretty safe from broken bones, since he did huge amounts of weight-bearing exercise for many years, so should have unusually strong bones.
I hate PD.
Al - I remember you live alone with Tess, your service dog. You are very well informed, and so generous (THANK YOU) with your knowledge. Do you have tips on how to manage the risk of falls, for those not fortunate enough to have a Great Dane?

By LOHENGR1N On 2012.04.28 15:55
Reflection, You are so right, L-Dopa is the one drug we can't go without! As far as tips? I think the most important thing to remember and speaking from experience is TRY TO KEEP IT SLOW. This might seem a silly thing to say as Parkinson's slows Us down anyway but, the more I try to hurry the more problems I create! Even after all these years I haven't become a master of slowing down! I'll find things beginning to go awry and starting to snowball and then the "aha" moment and I think slow down you idiot. Also We have to learn to be easy on ourselves! Another hard thing to master! We can't do things the same as we did before Parkinson's and we can't do things as we did last year, last month or even yesterday (at times) with Parkinson's! Try to do things when in our "on" times, and if you run out of "on" time let it go till later and the next on time! Experience speaking again, trying to stick to it till it's done will create problems and frustration! Things can be frustrating enough without our helping it along! As I say this stuff is easier said then done and I'm still struggling to master this art of slowing down and not getting myself into trouble! Along with the standard tips like no throw rugs, not running around in sock feet on fresh waxed floors hand rails and night lights in dimly lit areas, I think learning to take it at an easy pace helps in our safety.

As for having my Great Dane? There are pluses and minuses, don't get Me wrong She's one wonderful, smart cookie of a Dog! She's adapted to Me well and getting better at her job everyday! She's developed her own tricks of slowing me down. (and they work well and safely). To my "fellow" Parkies out there, She listens and doesn't scold or complain or nag me ;) She doesn't talk back much. Now before I get in trouble here and have the great Caregivers mad thinking I'm trying to replace them encouraging everyone to go out and get a dog......Great Danes come with a reverse gear! At times Tess will put one in a "timeout!" she'll walk in front of me when I'm sitting and then reverse, back up and plop her butt on my lap or knee. Now I can't say for sure every time She does this (but on occasion I've been able to see) as She's facing away from me I swear She's got a grin on her face! It's funny as I have come to believe She reads minds because when I'm planning to do something that might have mixed results, Tess trots into the room and blam! I'm in a timeout! 150 pounds of loving dead weight plopped on my lap! Wiggling doesn't work to well and urging her will earn you "Her Look" over her shoulder. A "I don't think so mister" look. She seems to sense when I've abandoned the notion and my timeout is lifted. Don't get me wrong if I tell her She'll get off me in a second when needed it's just funny how She plops, I pet and those notions pass. I've rambled enough and strayed far from the subject so I better quit for now. Take care, best of luck and hang in there.

By Reflection On 2012.04.28 17:10
Al, thank you so much - for your insight on how to reduce fall risk, and for alerting me to the L-dopa/calcium problem in the first place. Your perspective is so helpful.
The image of Tess sitting on your lap is so funny, and sweet. Awwwww.
thank you.

By lurkingforacure On 2012.04.29 08:18
sinemet also depletes the B vitamins and in particular B6 and B12 if I remember correctly....the B vitamins are critical for brain metabolism and B12 is now being prescribed (yes, as in Rx for largers doses) for depression. How many PWP have depression? What about caregivers? No side effects either except for it making your pee bright yellow or green, read up on this if you think it might help.

Also magnesium, one of the critical electrolytes, most americans are deficient in this, add PD and it's a real problem. It is next to impossible to test for some deficiencies because the tests only measure blood levels and it is what is inside the cells that matters. Magnesium deficiency can cause muscle cramps (dystonia?), twitches (PD tremors?), and several others things, so it's important to try to get things as balanced as possible. There are several forms of magnesium and some are more absorbed than others...I think the result of my reading awhile back was that the easiest way for my guy to get more magnesium (other than diet, which is not necessarily reliable because soil is depleted, etc.), was epsom salt baths. Problem is, he hates baths, so that hasn't been too effective. Might help someone else, though.

By karolinakitty On 2012.04.29 10:13
lurking you are right about the B6 and B12 both are depleted along with magnesium, potassium and zinc.... We recently had prescribed a vitamin B complex called Cerefolin NAC... It is used primarily to those with dementia/Ahlz patients but they found recently that that compound aids those with PD.
We do the Epsom salts baths. about 2 years now....after doing a "cleansing" treatments with herbs and vitamins to get Kidney, liver, Stomach and overall blood cleansing, we added a regiment of vitamins to our list of to do's...the epsom salt baths were part of the regiment. it did aid with the muscle cramps...we do take magnesium w/zinc 400/15mg 3x daily to also aid in this..

I must state here that it is extremely important that your doctor know you are taking these supplements. The best thing we found was to ask them to do a complete work up on the following:
calcium, magnesium, potassium, D3, B6, B12 and zinc....These are the primary culprits of depletion connected with PD.
Then it takes a couple of times doing blood work to get the right balance but it helps a lot....

In our cleansing we used Noni juice and Chlorophyll as our main cleansing agents....also don't forget about the h-pylori bacteria...a bad bacteria that has a tendency to over-produce itself in PD. This can cause a lot of the naseau and stomach cramps, and slow down the absorption of meds.....

By karolinakitty On 2012.04.29 10:22
oops one more word of caution...

Since advocating more, I read a lot of research papers now. I found an interesting article(s) on Osteoporosis.

I was researching a drug called Optruma, it is used in the European markets for osteoporosis. It is actually the European version of Boniva. Remember the Sally Field commercials?

Well, it turns out that a study was done on Boniva and lo and behold they found that patients taking Boniva ended up having PD or parkinsonian symptoms. Out of 100 people tested 10% actually ended up WITH PD and 10% had parkinsonian sypmtoms that laxed after the Boniva was out of their system.

Since the calcium was the first question asked here I though I would through this in for anyone taking or thinking of taking this drug....

They picked people in this study that had no hereditary factors or any other pre-dispositions factors to PD, like paraquat exposure and head injuries. I know the paraquat exposure was defined in the study as "known" and it's hard to tell how many of us were actually exposed to it but it was one of their deciding factors.

Sorry....rambled...


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