I use carbidopa/levodopa daily and have for about 4 years. I’ve tried with out the medication for about 2 weeks on two separate occasions recently. Unfortunately I was shocked at how difficult all movement was without it. But I’m concerned its use may hamper my recovery. Any data on this?
My research reveals that it is not advisable to stop taking any prescription medication – to go “cold turkey” as it is described. The emergence of the heightened symptoms you describe explains why.
If you decide to reduce the medication after consulting with your doctor it is critical to do so slowly and gradually. Compounding pharmacists are an ideal resource who can help you reduce the dosage very gradually so that the reduction does not trigger strong side effects.
The challenge with taking medication is that over time, more and more medication is needed to achieve the same result. Eventually, increases in dosage have no added impact and begin making matters worse.
A number of persons have reported that this particular medication has helped them get back on their feet so that they could begin doing what is required to reverse the symptoms. Once other options are found that address the causes of your symptoms, many people find they do not need to take as much medication and some have been successful with weaning off of them completely. This of course is a slow process that needs to be pursued mindfully.
In the end, it is a question of balance. There are a multitude of therapeutic options that are helping people reverse their symptoms. Many of the persons who have found therapies that are helpful (and who have been guests on my radio show) will be presenting workshops at the Parkinsons Recovery Summit in Cincinnati in June, 2012. Once options in addition to the medication are identified and found to facilitate a reversal of symptoms, most people find it is possible to begin reducing their medication dosage very gradually in close consultation with their doctor and their compounding pharmacist.
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Pioneers of Recovery