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Carbidopa, Levodopa Oral tablet, extended-release

What is this medicine?

CARBIDOPA; LEVODOPA (kar bi DOE pa; lee voe DOE pa) is used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow whole. Do not crush or chew. You may cut the tablets in half. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • anxiety, confusion, or nervousness

  • falling asleep during normal activities like driving

  • fast, irregular heartbeat

  • hallucination, loss of contact with reality

  • mood changes like aggressive behavior, depression

  • stomach pain

  • trouble passing urine

  • uncontrolled movements of the mouth, head, hands, feet, shoulders, eyelids or other unusual muscle movements

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • headache

  • loss of appetite

  • muscle twitches

  • nausea/vomiting

  • nightmares, trouble sleeping

  • unusually weak ot tired

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • isoniazid, INH

  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate

  • procarbazine

  • reserpine

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • droperidol

  • iron supplements

  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances

  • medicines for high blood pressure

  • metoclopramide

  • papaverine

  • phenytoin

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store below 30 degrees C (86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • depression or other mental illness

  • diabetes

  • glaucoma

  • heart disease, including history of a heart attack

  • irregular heart beat

  • kidney disease

  • liver disease

  • lung or breathing disease, like asthma

  • melanoma or suspicious skin lesions

  • stomach or intestine ulcers

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to levodopa, carbidopa, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. It may be several weeks or months before you feel the full benefits of this medicine. Continue to take your medicine on a regular schedule. Do not take any additional medicines for Parkinson's disease without first consulting with your health care provider.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this drug affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol can make you more drowsy and dizzy. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

If you find that you have sudden feelings of wanting to sleep during normal activities, like cooking, watching television, or while driving or riding in a car, you should contact your health care professional.

You may experience a "wearing off" effect prior to the time for your next dose of this medicine. You may also experience an "on-off" effect where the medicine apparently stops working for anything from a minute to several hours, then suddenly starts working again. Tell your doctor or health care professional if any of these symptoms happen to you. Your dose may need adjustment.

A high protein diet can slow or prevent absorption of this medicine. Avoid high protein foods near the time of taking this medicine to help to prevent these problems. Take this medicine at least 30 minutes before eating or one hour after meals. You may want to eat higher protein foods later in the day or in small amounts. Discuss your diet with your doctor or health care professional or nutritionist.

If you have diabetes, you may get a false-positive result for sugar in your urine. Check with your doctor or health care professional.

This medicine may discolor the urine or sweat, making it look darker or red in color. This is of no cause for concern. However, this may stain clothing or fabrics.

There have been reports of increased sexual urges or other strong urges such as gambling while taking some medicines for Parkinson's disease. If you experience any of these urges while taking this medicine, you should report it to your health care provider as soon as possible.

You should check your skin often for changes to moles and new growths while taking this medicine. Call your doctor if you notice any of these changes.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Last Review Date: 4/6/2010
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.