Azilect® is often used to treat patients showing symptoms of early Parkinson's disease, and also later in combination with other medications once the disease has progressed. Parkinson's disease typically breaks down dopamine in the brain over time, causing symptoms like tremors, muscle pain, and slow movement, but this medication can be used to stop or reduce the destruction of dopamine. This pill is typically only taken once per day, and may be combined with levodopa, which the body often turns into dopamine to help make up for what has been lost due to this disease. Side effects of Azilect® may include pain in the joints, depression, and flu symptoms, though additional side effects often occur when taken with levidopa.
Most patients showing early Parkinson's disease symptoms can take Azilect® alone, while this medication may be added to a regimen of levidopa in patients who have dealt with this disease for years. Unfortunately, since levidopa often eventually becomes less effective after years of use, some doctors want to hold off on prescribing it for as long as possible, which is why Azilect® is frequently used alone before the disease progresses. Once levidopa is added to the routine, Azilect® is often still used since the two medications can make up for any shortcomings in each other.
There are a number of medications that patients should not take with this drug, as the result can be harmful or even fatal. For example, taking St. John's wort, tramadol, methadone, dextromethorphan, cyclobenzaprine, or meperidine while taking Azilect® is not typically advised. Patients should let their doctor know about any other medications they are on in order to prevent negative drug interactions. Additionally, those with liver disease or a prescription for antidepressants or ciprofloxacin should let their doctor know about these issues before taking this medication.
Most symptoms of Parkinson's disease will likely be reduced with this drug, such as body tremors, slowed movement, and decreased ability to show facial expressions. Like other types of medication, though, Azilect® tends to result in side effects in some patients. They may include pain in the joints, depression, indigestion, and some flu symptoms. Once this medication is combined with daily doses of levidopa, the side effects may become more numerous and include weight loss, vomiting, constipation, and frequent falls and injuries among others.