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Authors

  1. Mucksavage, Jeffrey PharmD, BCPS
  2. Kim, Keri S. PharmD, MS CTS, BCPS

Abstract

Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) face unique challenges when admitted to the hospital. The nature of the disease, complexity of the pharmacotherapeutic home regimens, and the medication-related policies of institutionalized care all contribute to the challenges patients and providers face. In addition, medication errors are common in this population. Incorrectly ordered or omitted home medications or delayed administration can have significant negative consequences including worsening of PD symptoms, dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome, or malignant or hyperpyrexia syndrome. Also, this patient population may commonly encounter contraindicated medications ordered during their hospitalizations. These medication misadventures negatively affect patient care, which may lead to increased length of stay and significant adverse sequalae. Nurses, pharmacists, and other health care providers can help ease the anxiety of patients and their families by taking detailed medication histories, restarting home medication regimens, customizing medication administration to fit patients' needs, and screening patient profiles for drug-drug and drug-disease interactions. Education of hospital staff regarding the unique needs of this patient population and seeking the advice of specialists in PD can also promote improved patient care.