Community pharmacists can play a hugely important role in managing the medication routine of Parkinson’s in primary care, writes Suma Surendranath, professional engagement and education manager at Parkinson’s UK.

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The community role

As pharmacists based in the community, you have a perfect opportunity to establish an ongoing relationship with patients who have Parkinson’s. Educating your patients to understand the medication they are taking, how it works and what effects they can expect, can be hugely beneficial.

With some Parkinson’s drugs, particularly dopamine agonists and in a small number of cases levodopa, some people experience problems with impulsive and compulsive behaviour such as gambling, compulsive spending and hypersexuality.

This behaviour can have a huge impact on people’s lives and so it is important people with Parkinson’s are aware of this.

If people are concerned they should speak to their specialists about getting their routine reviewed but not suddenly stop taking their medication as this may exacerbate their other symptoms.

It is also helpful to inform carers and family members of this potential side effect as they might recognise changes in behaviour before the person with Parkinson’s does.

Join us again tomorrow for more information on Parkinson's patients in hospital.