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Levodopa is used to treat symptoms such as stiffness, tremors, spasms, and poor muscle control associated with Parkinson disease and parkinsonism-like symptoms caused by taking certain other drugs such as chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, perphenazine.

How it works

Levodopa is a pro-drug and crosses blood-brain barrier where it is converted into a chemical (dopamine) in the body which is required by the brain for proper functioning and relieves symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease.

Common side effects

Vomiting, Nausea, Nervousness, Memory impairment, Confusion, Constipation, Diarrhoea, Dizziness, Dry mouth, Headache, Insomnia, Loss of appetite, Mood changes, Uncoordinated body movements, Nightmare


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Expert advice

  • If you are taking carbidopa with levodopa, do not take iron salts (eg, ferrous sulfate), within 2 hours before or a diet that is high in protein.
  • Avoid vitamin products that contain vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). This vitamin may reduce the effectiveness of levodopa.
  • Do not use levodopa, if you are allergic to levodopa or any other ingredient.
  • Do not use levodopa, if you have narrow-angle glaucoma; if you are suffering from malignant melanoma (a type of cancer); skin cancer or you have any unusual moles; severe mental disorder.
  • Do not take levodopa, if you have a history of fits (convulsions); heart problems or blood pressure problems; asthma or other lung problems; liver or kidney problems; blood or hormone (endocrine) problems; depression or any other psychiatric disorder; ulcer in your gut or have vomited blood or stomach or intestinal bleeding.
  • If you are undergoing any tests for urine glucose or urine ketones, levodopa may cause the results of some tests to be wrong.
  • Levodopa may cause drowsiness, dizziness, light-headedness or sudden sleep. Do not drive or use machinery while using it.
  • Do not take alcohol along with levodopa.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is levodopa a controlled substance/ a narcotic/ addictive/ lipid soluble/ a dopamine agonist/ a prodrug/ a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI)/ toxic/ an anticholinergic?
Levopoda is a lipid soluble prodrug that gets converted into dopamine when it crosses the blood brain barrier. It is not a dopamine agonist, controlled substance, narcotic, MAOI, toxic or anticholinergic. It may cause addiction in some patients.
Q. Does levodopa work/ stop tremors?
Levodopa is used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease which includes tremors (shaking), stiffness, and slowness of movement. It works in most patients if taken at recommended dosage and duration.
Q. Does levodopa cause dyskinesia/ dementia/ accelerate Parkinson's disease/ get you high/stop cause constipation/ urine discoloration?
Levopoda may cause side effects such as constipation, a feeling of high in some patients.
Q. Does levodopa help with balance?
As levodopa helps in controlling tremors,it can improve balancing in patients.

Content on this page was last updated on 04 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)