Alcohol and Parkinson’s

I would love to know what everybodys attitudes are towards alcohol. Personally I love a few beers but not had a drink for nearly 3 months. I was newly diagnosed a month ago but the months leading up to my diagnosis I had some really bad experiences whilst drinking alcohol or I should say after drinking it. It was mainly that I simply could not sleep at all leading me to be awake for most of the night. The last time I did have a drink I felt i was having an outer body experience, could hardly walk and just felt generally bad. In affect it was making what I now know to be my Parkinson’s symptoms 10 times worse. I haven’t touched alcohol since. A friend of a friend who has Parkinson’s did say red wine is our medicine!

would love to know if fellow-sufferers have had adverse effects to alcohol and what their general opinon is towards drinking with Parkinson’s

Hi Wildrover

In a way I was glad to read your post - it makes me realise I’m not the only one! I had put the symptoms of sleeplessness and feeling bad down to mixing alcohol with medications ( am on Sinemet and nefopam ).

Like you I have virtually cut out alcohol but I do miss the occasional glass ( or 2!) of wine !



This is always a tricky one because it depends on alot of factors. What meds your on. How much you drink. What effect it has on you. I think most people when trying to manage their health cut out or cut down on alcohol.

I personally like a glass of wine every so often and according to my consultant that's fine. I'm on a dopamine agonist. Too much ie 2 glasses these days is a big night out and I am sluggish next day. So that doesn't happen any more.

Like Parkinsons, everyone is different. 

I consider myself lucky.  I can, and do, drink a whole bottle of red wine in an evening, about once per week.  My wife doesn't drink and I feel it is a crime to put a cork back into a wine bottle.  The day after, I feel fine and am sometimes surprised at how mobile I am.

If, however, I eat a large steak with the wine, I am an absolute wreak the following day.  But once or twice per year I think it's worth it.

I should have said "wreck" not "wreak".  Maybe it's the wine.

Hi Martini,

The steak thing is an interesting twist, I wonder why that is?? Must admit I do enjoy a bottle of red, however I am reluctant at the moment to try it as 24 hours of mysery is not worth the 2 or 3 hours of pleasure.. Interesting though to hear about other peoples take on the subject

It's the protein.  If you take anything containing levodopa, the protein interferes with its absorption.

My pd nurse says take meds an hour before protein or 3 hrs after to avoid protein absorption competing with dopamine. 

Red wine and aged cheese contain some substances that can alter/interfere with  meds so I have swopped to white wine, and anything with bubbles. Added boost is after an evening out , no longer look like a vampire.


Sorry levodopa which is of course converted to dopamine.

Hi Martini, protein yes of course, you will have to forgive my ignorance, still on a learning curve with this Parkinson’s thing.

yeah knocked it on the head four years just felt it took 3 to 4 days for tablets to work right again feel better for it .

I usually have a beer or a glass of wine during the evening.
Before bed I have a shot of Brandy or Whiskey.
I used to drink much more.

I swapped to rose/white wine after finding red on a ‘no’ list for PD? (something to do with antioxidants?).

Couple of glasses a night, with dinner & afterwards, take my meds at least 3 hours before I have a drink (Ropinirole) with no ill effects.

I take a glass or two of Sauvignon Blanc of an evening. I don’t think it does any harm, and as they say, “ a little of what you fancy does you good” !

Hi Wildrover,

Taking my meds (Stalevo, Sinemet plus retard, Neupro 4mg /24 hr & 8mg/ 24hr.) and drinking alcohol has not bothered me. I enjoy a pint, wine, gin, whisky, but not all in the same glass!!. The only effect I would say is that I get more sleep than normal. It has not affected me other than the odd hangover.

A couple of drinks I’m asleep the whole day the next day didn’t think it was related as I wasn’t a light weight

iam 82 i totally stopped drinking 1991 which made my family very happy after causing untold problems however in 2013 i was dx with pd following the route the medical profession sends you on i read about red wine and its benefits for pd bearing in mind when i drank previously i had been a beer man however i find drinking red i feel helps perhaps not with actual pd problem but brings back the old dutch courage feeling which in my mind can only be good whats that saying a little bit of what you fancy does you good