Lately, I have been contemplating the weaning of myself from my PD medications. Presently I take 100 mg of Levodopa Carbidopa 4 times daily and I take Requip for restless leg syndrome, five times daily.(The Levodopa is a fairly low dosage.) I am also on Azilect 1 mg 1x daily. This is the highly touted drug that is supposed to slow down PD.
Motivating me first and foremost to stop my meds, is that I do not like putting chemicals into my body and I have been taking Lev/Carb for 12 years now. Secondly I have read that if you keep supplying your body with pill form dopamine, it relies on that, and it will not try to make dopamine on its own.
In the future, I would like to try and free my body of pill form chemicals, and put my body back to work for itself. I know that this would have to be done gradually and carefully and working with a doctor under his/her guidance. And it would involve lots of work on my part. And I do remind myself too, that it could be risky–and at this moment I am fending off symptoms quite well.
My neurologist he cautions me saying that I am doing so well, why change anything? He says that first of all PD patients like myself, whose symptoms start with a tremor, tend to fare better than others. (And I am thankful for that). But mostly he stresses that MY MEDS are the biggest contributing factor for my ‘wellness’, and that THEY are what is making the difference for me. So, no encouragement from him whatsoever.
I just wondered if, in your work, with PD, Roger, have you ever encountered or heard of anyone else who has set out on a similar journey : without meds and using alternative therapies, and whether they have been successful, or not. If so I would be interested in hearing their stories. And do you or your colleagues have any comments?
Your vision is clear about what you want to see happen with your medications. You have precisely what you need to manifest your heart’s desire: a clear vision, solid focus and unwavering determination. There will always be people who question your decision. This happens with any change you have decided to initiate.
You ask if there are any other people who have pursued a similar path. I know of many people on a path of reducing meditations and/or alternating their program in one way or another. Keep listening to my radio program! You will hear stories of people who are weaning themselves off medications that are no longer serving their best and highest good.
Please listen to my radio program interview with Pharmacist Randy Mentzer who gives a play by play description of how he helps people wean off of medications. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/parkinsons-recovery. The challenge of course is that side effects of certain medications can begin to be far worse than the symptoms the medications are formulated to help.
Randy tells me if a person is taking three medications, there is a good chance there are drug interactions and drug depletions. If a person is taking five, he says there is a 100% chance of drug interactions and/or depletions.
It takes a serious commitment on your part. And as you aptly point out, you have to work very closely with a doctor who supports your decision to wean off medications. It is also important to acknowledge the role that supplements have in whatever decisions you make and whatever approach you pursue.
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
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