Some Parkinson's Meds Cause Sleepiness

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Patients taking dopamine agonists to treat Parkinson's disease face an increasedrisk of uncontrollable sleepiness, according to a study reported in the Archives ofNeurology (August 2005). The findings are based on data from interviews with 929patients with the disease. The participants were questioned about episodes of fallingasleep uncontrollably during social activity or while driving. The results of the studyshowed that 22% (1 in 5 patients) had at least 1 incident of falling asleep at an inopportunetime in the 6 months prior to the interview. The researchers estimated thatthese patients were 3 times more likely to experience such incidents, compared withpatients taking other Parkinson's disease medications. Patients taking dopamineagonists should inform their physicians if they experience this problem.