Drugs for Parkinson’s: The Shocking Side Effects

DAWS Risks

Tapering down, or stopping dopamine agonists (under the care of a doctor) can provide relief from impulsive behaviors. For some, going off the medication completely is not an option or withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe.

Dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome (DAWS) was first recognized in 2010. One increasingly viable way to decrease medication is by opting for deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery (typically post-surgery, a person can reduce medications).

DBS is used to treat several disabling neurological symptoms such as tremors, rigidity and movement problems and is also used to address dystonia (involuntary muscle contractions that cause slow repetitive movements). The procedure is only used for patients whose symptoms can’t be controlled with medications yet only those who improve to some degree after taking Parkinson’s drugs benefit from DBS. Although most people will still need to take medication after undergoing DBS, they’re able to reduce their reliance on the drugs.

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