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Managing Medication Side Effects

The most common side effects of PD medications are nausea and/or vomiting. These occur most often when first taking the drug and usually disappear over time. In addition to a queasy stomach, you may feel drowsy or experience low blood pressure or hallucinations.

The following are some tips to help control or relieve nausea:

  • Take the medication with a small carbohydrate snack, such as crackers or toast

  • Your doctor may add extra carbidopa to your medication

  • Drink liquids that are clear, cold, and contain sugar. These types of fluids often help calm the stomach better than others.

  • Avoid most fruit juices because they have a high acidity level that can make your nausea worse.

  • Eat and drink slowly.

  • Take your time eating and drinking. Smaller meals spread throughout the day and drinks consumed in between these meals may help reduce your nausea.

  • Eat bland foods (e.g., saltine crackers, bread, rice) and be sure to avoid greasy and sweet snacks.

  • Keep your food one temperature - if you are eating hot food, don't also include cold food. If you are feeling nauseated by the smell of hot or warm foods, try to eat foods that are either cold or at room temperature instead.

  • Keep your head elevated after eating.

  • Reduce and avoid activity right after eating so as not to induce vomiting.

  • Do not brush your teeth directly after eating.

  • If you often feel nauseous when you wake up in the morning, leave crackers on your bedside table and snack on them before you get up. You can also eat a high-protein snack before bed.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this Parkinson Association of Alabama Resource Center is for awareness and educational purposes only about Parkinson's medication. The PAA does not endorse any specific brand or type of medication. All discussions about medication should be between you, your care partner, and your medical teams.


Davis Phinney Foundation. Parkinson's Treatments and Therapies. Chapter 7 - Medication. Pages 125-130. Every Victory Counts. "Manual." Sixth Edition, 2021.

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