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Carbidopa

INFORMATION

Uses

Carbidopa is used in the treatment of parkinson's disease (a disorder of the nervous system that causes difficulties with movement and balance).

How it works

Carbidopa is always given with levodopa. It works by preventing levodopa from being broken down before it reaches the brain. This allows for a lower dose of levodopa, which causes less nausea and vomiting.

Common side effects

Nausea, Neuroleptic malignant syndrome, Panic attacks, Altered behaviour, Mood changes, Altered sleep, Burning sensation of tongue, Confusion, Convulsion, Dizziness, Drowsiness, Fever, Frequent dreams, Hallucination, Increased sweating, Tachycardia, Heart rate irregular, Tremor, Vomiting, Worsening of tremor, Muscle stiffness

AVAILABLE MEDICINE

No medicine available

Expert advice

  • Take carbidopa with food along with levodopa.
  • Do not take iron salts (eg. ferrous sulfate), within 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking carbidopa.
  • If you have been taking levodopa alone, do not start taking carbidopa until at least 12 hours after your final dose of levodopa.
  • Do not use carbidopa if you are allergic to carbidopa or any other ingredient.
  • Do not use carbidopa if you have narrow-angle glaucoma.
  • Avoid using carbidopa in pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breast-feeding.
  • Do not take carbidopa, if you have undiagnosed skin growths, skin cancer, or a history of skin cancer; heart problems; ulcers; seizures ; blood pressure problems; asthma or lung problems; liver or kidney problems; blood or hormone problems.
  • Avoid taking carbidopa if you suffer from mental or mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or attempts.
  • Take precaution if you have a diet that is high in protein as it may decrease your body's ability to absorb carbidopa.
  • Take precaution if you are undergoing any tests for urine glucose or urine ketones, carbidopa may cause the results of some tests to be wrong.
  • Consult your doctor if you have increased sexual urges, unusual urges to gamble, or other intense urges while taking this medicine.
  • In some cases after using carbidopa sweat, urine, or saliva appears dark in color, such as red, brown, or black. It is not a harmful side effect, but it may cause staining of clothes or bed sheets.
  • Carbidopa may cause drowsiness, dizziness, light-headedness or sudden sleep. Do not drive or use machinery while using it.
  • Do not take alcohol along with carbidopa.

Frequently asked questions

Carbidopa

Q.What is carbidopa used for/ what does carbidopa treat/ Is carbidopa a dopamine agonist/ a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI)/ addictive/ a blood thinner?
Carbidopa is used in combination with other drug levodopa to treat symptoms associated with Parkinson disease and parkinsonism-like symptoms caused by other conditions. It is neither a dopamine agonist, nor a MAOI. It can be addictive and cause blood thinning in some patients

Q.Is carbidopa levodopa/ Is carbidopa levodopa a controlled substance/ a MAOI/ a narcotic/ is carbidopa-levodopa addiction?
Carbidopa works by helping levodopa to reach the brain. It is not a controlled substance, a MAOI, a narcotic. Some people may get addicted to carbidopa levodopa treatment for experiencing better sense of well-being

Q.How does carbidopa effect levodopa?
Carbidopa prevents conversion of levodopa to dopamine in the bloodstream, providing a larger amount of levodopa to relieve symptoms of Parkinson's disease

Q.Does carbidopa get you high/lower blood pressure/cause hallucinations/cause constipation?
Carbidopa can get some people high, it can cause side effects such as low blood pressure, hallucinations and constipation

Q.Does carbidopa cross the blood brain barrier?
Carbidopa itself cannot cross the blood brain barrier but it allows peripheral levodopa in doing so

Q.How does carbidopa affect the on-off phenomenon?
Patients treated with levodopa therapy for Parkinson's disease may develop motor fluctuations characterized by end-of-dose failure, peak dose dyskinesia, and akinesia. The advanced form of motor fluctuations ('on-off’ phenomenon) is characterized by unpredictable swings from mobility to immobility. Although the causes of the motor fluctuations are not completely understood, in some patients they may be attenuated by treatment regimens that produce steady plasma levels of levodopa

Q.What does carbidopa levodopa look like?
Carbidopa levopoda is basically available in circular, oval or elliptical form and in different colors and sizes which varies for different brands.


Content on this page was last updated on 29 November, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)