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Depression in Parkinson's Disease:
Pharmacists' Key Role in Improving Outcomes

Provided by The College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP), in cooperation with ASiM.
Supported by an educational grant from Actavis.


Parkinson disease (PD) is a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by any combination of 4 cardinal signs: rest tremor, rigidity, akinesia, and postural instability. The clinical features most suggestive of idiopathic PD rather than an atypical or secondary parkinsonian syndrome include asymmetric or unilateral onset, the presence of resting tremor, and response to treatment with levadopa.

Patients with PD may experience nonmotor symptoms related to the disease itself or to the medications used to treat it. These comorbid conditions include psychosis, hallucinations, daytime sleepiness, depression, fatigue, and dementia. Depression in patients with PD is common, and treating depression helps patients with PD effectively manage both conditions. Clinical studies demonstrate the efficacy of medications and psychotherapies for PD patients with depression, underscoring the importance of timely detection and appropriate management.

Pharmacists face a number of important challenges in caring for patients with depression and PD. They may recognize the signs and symptoms of depression in this patient population well before the primary care physician. In addition, pharmacists need to assess the efficacy and safety of treatment for depression in patients with PD, as well as manage adherence, potential drug and disease interactions, and treatment-related adverse events.


This interactive case activity is designed for psychiatric, neurologic, and community pharmacists. No prerequisites required.


The goal of this interactive, knowledge-based, case module is to provide psychiatric, neurologic, and community pharmacists with a simple validated method for screening patients with PD for depression, evaluating and providing potential treatment strategies for depression, assessing the safety and efficacy of treatment, managing issues with adherence, potential drug and disease interactions, and adverse events. Learning objectives include:

  • Recognize signs and symptoms of depression in patients with PD.
  • Assess the safety and efficacy of the current management of depression in patients with PD.
  • Manage adherence, potential drug interactions and adverse events in complex treatment regimens of PD with concomitant depression.


acpeThe College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

UAN: 0284-9999-15-079-H01-P
Credits: 1.0 Contact Hour (0.10 CEU)

Published: December 30, 2015
Expires: December 30, 2016
Media: Internet

Fee Information

There is no fee for this educational activity.

Estimated time to complete activity

60 minutes


To receive a statement of credit, you must:

  • Review the full content of the activity and the provided resource material and reflect upon its teaching.
  • Complete the questions and evaluation at the end of the activity.
  • You must have a passing score of 70% on the post-test. You will have two (2) opportunities to complete the post-test.


Melody Ryan, PharmD, MPH, BCPS, GCP, FCCP, FAPhA
Professor and Vice Chair
Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science
Director, International Professional Student Education
College of Pharmacy and Department of Neurology
College of Medicine
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Neurology (WOC)
Lexington VA Medical Center
Lexington, Kentucky

Dr Ryan indicates that she has no financial disclosures related to the content of this activity.

The planners and managers have nothing to disclose related to the content of this Continuing Education (CE) activity. Senior Medical Editor, Lisa Mangione, has nothing to disclose related to the content of this CE activity. Medical Director and Medical Writer, Linda Giering, PhD, has nothing to disclose related to the content of this CE activity.

Brenda Schimenti, MS, as well as the planners, managers, and other individuals, not previously disclosed, who are in a position to control the content from the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) hereby state that they have no relevant conflicts of interest and no financial relationships or relationships to products or devices during the past 12 months to disclose in relation to this activity. CPNP is committed to providing participants with a quality learning experience and to improving clinical outcomes without promoting the financial interests of a proprietary business.


The following off-label uses are discussed within this activity: the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and monoamine oxidase type B inhibitors for treating depression in patients with PD.

It is the policy of CPNP to ensure independence, balance, objectivity, scientific rigor, and integrity in continuing education activities. Those involved in the development of this CE activity have made all reasonable efforts to ensure that information contained herein is accurate in accordance with the latest available scientific knowledge at the time of accreditation of this CE activity. Information regarding drugs (eg, their administration, dosages, contraindications, adverse reactions, interactions, special warnings, and precautions) and drug delivery systems is subject to change, however, the reader is advised to check the manufacturer's package insert for information concerning recommended dosage and potential problems or cautions prior to dispensing or administering the drug or using the drug delivery systems.

Fair balance is achieved through ongoing and thorough review of all materials produced by faculty, and all educational and advertising materials produced by supporting organizations, prior to educational offerings. Approval of credit for this CE activity does not imply endorsement by CPNP for any product or manufacturer identified.


Please ensure the computer you plan to use meets the following minimum requirements:

  • Operating System: Windows 98 or higher & Macintosh 2.2 or higher
  • Internet Browser (Mac &/Windows): Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher, Google Chrome, Safari 5.0.6 or higher, Firefox 3.0.3 or higher & Opera 5 or higher
  • Broadband Internet connection: Cable, High-speed DSL & any other medium that is internet accessible.
  • Peripherals: Computer speakers or headphones
  • Monitor Screen Resolution: 320 x 480 or higher
  • Media Viewing Requirements: Adobe Reader, Microsoft Power Point, Flash Player & HTML5


The following is an interactive case simulation designed to help you gauge your basic knowledge of the topic and then direct you to areas you may need to focus on. It consists of 3 sections: an unaccredited pre-assessment, an interactive case study, and a CPE post-assessment, and evaluation. All 3 sections must be completed to receive CPE credit. A statement of credit will be available online immediately following successful completion of the activity.