Inpatient drug calculator & guideline now available

Naomi Fox 2

Dr Naomi Fox's Parkinson’s medication and conversion calculator called ‘OPTIMAL’ has been launched and is now available for use.The new online tool, which will help professionals who are unfamiliar with Parkinson’s to better manage their patients in hospital, won the Parkinson's Academy 2015 award for the best inter-module project.It is essential that people with Parkinson's get their medication on time when they are admitted to hospital for whatever reason. The OPTIMAL tool compiles all relevant guidance into one place, giving a step-by-step process for managing the medication of people with Parkinson's until expert help is available:

  • Obtaining an accurate drug history
  • Prescribing usual medication accurately and promptly
  • Taking care to avoid drugs that worsen Parkinsonism or confusion
  • If the patient has poor swallow or is nil by mouth, consider other methods
  • Managing patients who cannot have enteral medications
  • Aiming to resume the patient’s usual medication regime as soon as possible
  • Liaising with a Parkinson’s specialist at the earliest opportunity

These guidelines are accompanied by an interactive calculator to calculate accurate drug doses.The freely accessible tool is endorsed by the British Geriatrics Society Movement Disorder Group and listed on the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network’s resource directory. Fox and her team are working with Parkinson’s UK to develop a mobile phone app to make OPTIMAL even easier to use.Access OPTIMAL at:

'The things you can't get from the books'

Parkinson's Academy, our original and longest running Academy, houses 19 years of inspirational projects, resources, and evidence for improving outcomes for people with Parkinson's. Led by co-founder and educational director Dr Peter Fletcher, the Academy has a truly collegiate feel and prides itself on delivering 'the things you can't get from books' - a practical learning model which inspires all Neurology Academy courses.