For further information on individual agents, please refer to specific monographs
Agents Used in Anaesthesia
Choice of Anaesthetic Agent
Propofol can cause dyskinetic movements in all patients, including those with PD. However, it temporarily suppresses parkinsonian resting tremor and has an antiemetic action so is probably the best choice of induction agent in most situations1, 2.
Thiopental and ketamine have been used in PD patients without harm despite theoretical risks of exacerbation of parkinsonian symptoms and exaggerated sympathetic response respectively1.
Neuromuscular Blocking Drugs (NMBDs)
Tremor and muscle rigidity may limit a patient using a patient-controlled analgesic (PCA) device1.
Cyclizine may decrease the absorption of levodopa3; however, this is unlikely to be clinically significant, as cyclizine is generally considered useful in patients with PD1, 4.
Granisetron and ondansetron do not affect dopamine so are useful in patients with PD1 however, cases of extrapyramidal adverse effects have been reported uncommonly with ondansetron4. If patient is taking a Monoamine-Oxidase B inhibitor there is a risk of serotonin syndrome (see Monoamine-oxidase B (MAOB) inhibitors monograph).
Post-operative delirium is common in PD1. Non-pharmacological treatments are preferable but if pharmacological treatment is absolutely necessary consider lorazepam1. Avoid haloperidol as it can exacerbate PD symptoms1.
NBM Period and Alternative Routes
PD patients should ideally be placed first on the operation list to minimise the NBM period, reduce the risk of cancellation and ensure optimal early post-operative disease management1, 2. Even if patients are NBM they should still be advised to take medications at their usual time pre-operatively with a small sip of water (see Nil By Mouth statement in Using the Monograph section).
If there is significant post-operative nausea and vomiting, post-operative ileus or concerns about enteral absorption, the oral route is likely to be unreliable and may lead to suboptimal treatment and potentially parkinsonism-hyperpyrexia syndrome (PHS) or Dopamine Agonist Withdrawal Syndrome (DAWS)1, 2. Some treatments like amantadine, monoamine-oxidase B (MAO-B) inhibitors and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors can be safely omitted in these circumstances; however, it is not safe to omit levodopa or dopamine agonists and alternative treatment with transdermal rotigotine should be considered1, 2. Guidance on dose conversions are available at http://parkinsonscalculator.com or refer to in-house guidelines if available; due to the risk of delirium and other neuropsychiatric side effects e.g. hallucinations, it may be prudent to decrease the initial rotigotine dose for acutely unwell or frail patients and then titrate accordingly1, 2. The rotigotine patch should be stopped and the patient’s usual treatment restarted when there are no longer concerns regarding enteral absorption. Rotigotine may not be sufficiently potent to provide adequate treatment for patients on higher dose treatment regimes2. The only other parenteral option is subcutaneous apomorphine, however, this is highly emetogenic (requiring pre-treatment with domperidone)2 and should ONLY be initiated on advice of a specialist in PD.
Patients who do not rapidly regain the ability to take their usual PD medication should be seen by a PD Specialist Nurse or Movement Disorder Consultant at the earliest opportunity2.