Anticholinergics for Cerebral Palsy
How It Works
Anticholinergic medicines reduce uncontrollable body movements in people who have dystonic cerebral palsy.
Why It Is Used
How Well It Works
These medicines are primarily used to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease and have not been well studied as treatment for cerebral palsy. Although initially they help improve muscular problems in some people, the gains often are temporary. Over time, the medicine may lose its effectiveness. The baclofen (antispasmodic) pump may work better for people with dystonic cerebral palsy.
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine your child takes. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with the medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call your doctor if your child has:
Common side effects of this medicine include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Dry mouth is common with these medicines. If your older child is physically able to, have him or her chew sugarless gum, suck on sugarless candy, or melt ice in his or her mouth. If your child continues to have problems with dry mouth after about 2 weeks, call your doctor. Dry mouth can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Because anticholinergics can reduce your child's ability to sweat, help prevent your child from overheating on very hot days. For example, limit your child's time in the sun and give your child plenty of water.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. If your child takes medicine as your doctor suggests, it will improve your child's health and may prevent future problems. If your child doesn't take the medicines properly, his or her health (and perhaps life) may be at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
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