Hospital Patient Care for Parkinson’s

Important Information Related to
the Care of Patients with Parkinson’s Disease

(8 AM–6PM, M-F)  703-375-9987     
(after hours)  703-845-1500 

For patients with Parkinson’s disease, it is important that in addition to being treated for the condition that led to their hospitalization, their treatment for Parkinson’s disease continues as prescribed by their neurologist.

We hope that the information outlined below will assist you to provide the care your Parkinson’s patient requires for the best possible outcome.

Most Important
Patients must take their Parkinson medications

according to the schedule determined by their neurologist.

Unnecessary complications & serious harm can occur when:

▪ medications are not given according to the patient’s predetermined schedule
▪  there is a “window” before or after prescribed times
▪  medications are not available from the pharmacy
▪  a sudden change of medications (including substitution), or stoppage of medications occurs

We recommend:

▪  the patient and/or caregiver be allowed to self-administer the patient’s Parkinson medications
▪  patients be permitted to use medications from their home supply, in their original containers
▪  the caregiver be present, where possible, to advocate for the patient.

A Parkinson’s patient’s medications should NOT be changed
without consulting the patient’s neurologist.

Please contact our Movement Disorders Specialists.  
We are here to support you!    

Call Inova Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center at
703-375-9987 (business hours) or 703-845-1500 (after hours)

Contraindicated Medications


▪  haloperidol (Haldol) and most neuroleptics

▪  prochlorperazine (Compazine), metoclopramide (Reglan),    promethazine (Phenergan) and droperidol (Inapsine)

▪  Selective MAO B inhibitors, such as rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (l-deprenyl, Eldepryl), and selegiline HCL oral disintegrating (Zelapar) are contraindicated with commonly prescribed medications such as meperidine (Demerol) and tramadol (Rybix, Ryzolt, Ultram)

Considered safe:

▪  pimavanserin (Nuplazid), quetiapine (Seroquel) and clozapine (Clozaril)

▪  trimethobenzamide (Tigan) and ondansetron (Zofran)

▪  To avoid potential interactions, it may be appropriate to hold the MAO B inhibitor for 2 weeks prior to surgery, and resume when pain is under control. If surgery is imminent, please use alternative medications for pain and check with the pharmacy or our neurologists for other potential drug interactions.

In addition:

▪  Parkinson patients are prone to constipation. A diet high in fiber and water will be beneficial, and optimize medication absorption.

▪  A physical therapy evaluation prior to discharge can help the patient to move about safely and prevent falls.

▪  A speech language pathologist can perform a swallow evaluation should dysphagia develop.

▪  Should a nasogastric tube be required, carbidopa/levodopa 25/100 immediate release tablets can be crushed and administered via the tube.

Parkinson Medications and Surgery

Prior to surgery: patients should be allowed to take their Parkinson medications as close to the time of surgery as possible, and if safe to do so, with a sip of water.

After surgery: patients should resume taking their Parkinson medication as soon as it is safe to do so.

Hospital Care

Please click here to view our PowerPoint slides from our February 2022 conference on the topic of Hospitalization & Parkinson’s.

When patients are in hospital, they are under the care of the hospital team. We’ve created a letter for you to share with your hospital medical providers with some basic information about Parkinson’s medications, and our contact info, to encourage them to consult with our team before making any changes to the patient’s medications.

Please download our letter and share with your medical providers in hospital and/or in rehabilitation. You can include it to your Parkinson’s Foundation Aware in Care Kit.

Delirium vs. Dementia


– comes on swiftly, possibly over one to two days, and symptoms can also vary considerably throughout the day. It mainly affects attention.
Can be caused by acute illness, and is reversible.


– is a gradual neurodegenerative process, and is generally not reversible. It mainly affects memory.