As Parkinson’s care partners know well, everyone living with Parkinson’s experiences OFF times differently. (OFF times occur when their medication wears off, hasn’t kicked in, or just isn’t providing symptom relief.) For some, especially those who have been diagnosed for only a few years, OFF periods may be rare and a minor concern. For others, OFF can be a frequent and debilitating experience. No matter what stage of Parkinson’s your loved one is in, you can help them navigate OFF times so they can get back to feeling their best.
Although the terms ON and OFF have been used to describe responses to levodopa therapy for more than 40 years, there is still no universally agreed-upon definition for the term OFF, and everyone with Parkinson's experiences it differently. OFF periods occur when your medication isn't working optimally, and your motor and non-motor symptoms return. OFF is much more nuanced but understanding its scientific causes can help you minimize it in your daily life.
Learn some shortcuts for communicating more effectively about OFF times.