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Levodopa, Parkinson's Disease, and Hypotension

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Department of Neurology, Cornell University Medical College, New York, N. Y.

Ann Intern Med. 1970;72(5):751-752. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-72-5-751
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Patients with Parkinson's disease generally have lower blood pressure than other individuals of their age and sex. An orthostatic drop in blood pressure is frequently observed in these patients, but the drop is rarely enough to cause symptoms. Since the use of L-dihydroxyphenylalanine (levodopa) in their treatment, orthostatic hypotension has become more common and more often symptomatic (1, 2). In our series of 100 patients treated with levodopa, 25 developed significant orthostatic hypotension (defined as a drop of systolic blood pressure of 30 mm Hg or more or a drop in systolic blood pressure to 80 mm Hg or less).


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