Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could talk about heart disease in a vacuum - isolated from all other factors or influences? It would be wonderful, but the hard reality is that nothing about our health is isolated. Our bodies are a magnificent mesh of interconnecting systems, neurons, muscles, bone, organs, and so very much more.
Often what affects one part of the body - or more specifically, the “cure” for what affects one part of the body - has the potential to have very unhealthy (and generally unwelcome) side effect on another part. One only has to watch television to verify this truth. The airways are full of advertisements for pharmaceutical cures - try product X (the newest, latest, greatest on the market, guaranteed to help and endorsed by patients and physicians alike) but side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sterility, mood swings, depression, muscle cramps, changes in vision, hair loss, and so on ad infinitum! I’ve yet to see a single drug where known side effects were listed as “none.” (Maybe they do exist, but I’ve never personally come across such a novelty.)
If you are concerned about heart disease, then you also need to be aware that some drugs, or combination of drugs, just may take a toll on your heart health. While they may cure the ailment they’re designed to target, you may be left with new health concerns. One such new red-treatment-flag was just raised by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on August 20, 2010 regarding the use of Stalevo (entacapone or C/LE).
Stalevo is a drug that is commonly used to treat Parkinson’s disease (PD). As a part of the Stalevo Reduction in Dyskinesia Evaluation–Parkinson's Disease (STRIDE-PD) clinical trials, researchers have been evaluating the effectiveness of taking combined carbidopa/levodopa and Stalevo for the treatment of PD. While carbidopa/levodopa are used to treat PD, the real improvement for those suffering from PD comes when Stalevo is added to the cocktail. Stalevo is currently available as a stand-alone drug but is generally prescribed for use in combination with carbibopa/levodopa.