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    Suggest treatment for lack of appetite in a person with Parkinson's disease

Posted on Tue, 13 Dec 2016 in Brain and Spine
Question: My wife has Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease. She has had a major weight loss because she no longer has a good appetite. She is on numerous medications due to her afflictions. Further, she now refuses to eat because she cannot be encouraged to eat and just don't like hardly anything to eat.

My question is .... Is there any medication that can overcome the lack of appetite so that her energy can be renewed?
Sincerely, XXXXXXX
My email is: YYYY@YYYY
Answered by Dr. Ishu Bishnoi 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Appetite enhancing drugs and other methods

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXX, thanks for asking from HCM.

I can udnerstand your concern. I will give you a list of drugs and methods which will help her

: Mirtazapine - Mirtazapine is an antidepressant.Mirtazapine is most often prescribed as an appetite stimulant for patients who have been previously diagnosed with depression.

: Cyproheptadine. Cyproheptadine is an antihistamine given to relieve the symptoms of colds, nasal allergies.It appears to beeffective in treating loss of appetite in children and adults.

: Dronabinol. Dronabinol is a synthetic version of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the mood-altering compound found in marijuana (Cannabis sativa). Dronabinol is most commonly used to treat the nausea and vomiting associated with AIDS and with cancer chemotherapy.

: Anabolic steroids. These drugs are given to older persons to increase muscle mass and strength, or to help patients recovering from severe illness or injury to regain lost weight. Megestrol acetate.

: Fish oil. Fish oil is recommended by some practitioners as a nutritional supplement for weight loss.

Methods other than drugs

: Family support and counselling - Usual cause of loss of appetite is depression and drugs. Give her maximum psychological support and encourage her. Also give her counselling.

: Use appetite enhancing foods like fructose containing fruits (grapes), oranges, lemon water, soup

: Give her multiple small feeds to supply same amount of calories - You can give her 5-6 feeds after some gain in appetite. Give high calorie and protein food like eggs, pulses, soyabean supplements, milk, fish along with green vegetables/fruits.

I think this will help her. If still in doubt, do let me know. Also consult your doctor to rule out any abdominal pathology like liver or intestinal disease. It can be screened by ultrasound of abdomen, liver function test.

Thanks. Take care.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Answered by
Dr. Ishu Bishnoi

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2007

Answered : 830 Questions


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