Carbidopa and Levodopa

Adult Medication

Brand Names: US

Duopa; Parcopa [DSC]; Rytary; Sinemet; Sinemet CR

Brand Names: Canada

Apo-Levocarb; Apo-Levocarb CR; Dom-Levo-Carbidopa; Duodopa; Levocarb CR; PMS-Levocarb CR; PRO-Levocarb; Sinemet; Sinemet CR; Teva-Levocarbidopa

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat Parkinson’s disease.
  • It is used to treat signs like Parkinson’s disease caused by other health problems.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to levodopa, carbidopa, or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have glaucoma.
  • If you are taking any of these drugs: Reserpine or tetrabenazine.
  • If you have taken certain drugs used for low mood (depression) like isocarboxazid, phenelzine, or tranylcypromine or drugs used for Parkinson’s disease like selegiline or rasagiline in the last 14 days. Taking this drug within 14 days of those drugs can cause very bad high blood pressure. Talk with your doctor.
  • If you are taking another drug that has the same drug in it.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

All products:

  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that you use this drug.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how this drug affects you.
  • To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, rise slowly over a few minutes when sitting or lying down. Be careful climbing stairs.
  • This drug may affect certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab workers know you take this drug.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with your doctor about which glucose tests are best to use.
  • Have your eye pressure checked. Talk with your doctor.
  • This drug may “wear off” as the time for your next dose gets closer. Tell your doctor if this happens and it bothers you.
  • Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol or use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
  • The chance of a type of skin cancer called melanoma may be raised in people with Parkinson’s disease. It is not known if this drug may also raise the chance. Have skin exams while you take this drug. Talk with your doctor.
  • A dark color (red, brown, or black) may show up in your saliva, urine, or sweat. This is not harmful but may discolor your clothes.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

Oral-disintegrating tablet:

  • If you have PKU, talk with your doctor. Some products have phenylalanine.

Enteral suspension:

  • If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

All products:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
  • Change in the way you act.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Change in thinking clearly and with logic.
  • Strong urges that are hard to control (such as gambling or sex).
  • A skin lump or growth.
  • Change in color or size of a mole.
  • Trouble controlling body movements that is new or worse.
  • Throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Belly pain.
  • Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Sore throat.
  • Any bruising or bleeding.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Very bad headache.
  • Dark urine or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Change in eyesight, eye pain, or very bad eye irritation.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Some people have fallen asleep during activities like driving, eating, or talking. Some people did not feel sleepy and felt alert right before falling asleep. This has happened up to 1 year after this drug was started. If you fall asleep during activities, do not drive or do other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert while you take this drug. Call your doctor right away if this happens or you feel very sleepy.
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a very bad and sometimes deadly health problem that has happened when this drug was stopped all of a sudden. NMS has also happened when the dose of this drug was lowered. Call your doctor right away if you have any fever, muscle cramps or stiffness, dizziness, very bad headache, confusion, change in thinking, fast heartbeat, heartbeat that does not feel normal, or are sweating a lot.

Enteral suspension:

  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Problem with the device or problem where the tube goes into your body.
  • Swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Stomach or bowel problems can happen with this drug. Some of these problems may lead to the need for surgery or may be deadly. This includes problems like stomach or bowel bleeding, blockage, or ulcers; infection or other problems where the tube goes into your body; or pancreatitis. Call your doctor right away if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools; fever; upset stomach or throwing up; constipation that does not go away; or stomach pain.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

All products:

  • Bad dreams.
  • Hard stools (constipation).
  • Dizziness.
  • Feeling sleepy.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Headache.
  • Not able to sleep.

All oral products:

  • Upset stomach or throwing up.

Enteral suspension:

  • Throat pain.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.

All oral products:

  • Take with or without food.

Extended-release tablets:

  • Swallow whole. Do not chew or crush.
  • Some products may be broken in half. Do not chew or crush. Talk with your pharmacist or doctor.

Long-acting capsules:

  • Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
  • If you cannot swallow this drug whole, you may sprinkle the contents on applesauce. If you do this, swallow the mixture right away without chewing.

Oral-disintegrating tablet:

  • Be sure your hands are dry before you touch this drug.
  • Take this drug out of the bottle right before you use it.
  • Place on your tongue and let it melt. Water is not needed. Do not swallow it whole. Do not chew, break, or crush it.

Enteral suspension:

  • It is given as an infusion through a tube connected to your bowels.
  • Your doctor will teach you how to take this drug.
  • Follow how to use as you have been told by your doctor or read the package insert.
  • Take the oral form of this drug as you have been told by your doctor.
  • This drug needs to be at room temperature before use. Take a cassette out of the carton and out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before using.
  • Do not reuse casettes. Do not use a cassette for longer than 16 hours, even if some drug is left.
  • If you need to disconnect the pump for a short time (less than 2 hours), follow what your doctor has told to do or read the package insert. If you need to disconnect the pump for longer than 2 hours, call your doctor to find out what to do.

All products:

  • If you take an iron product or a multivitamin that has iron, ask your doctor or pharmacist how to take it with this drug. Iron may lower how well your body is able to absorb this drug.
  • Diets high in protein, fat, or calories may lower how well your body absorbs this drug; tell your doctor if you have a diet like this or if you will be changing your diet. Talk with your doctor.
  • Do not stop taking this drug all of a sudden or lower your dose without calling your doctor. Side effects may happen. Talk with your doctor.
  • Take even during sign-free periods.
  • Keep a diary of your signs.
  • Take as you have been told, even if you feel well.
  • Take this drug at the same time of day.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

All oral products:

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

Enteral suspension:

  • Call the doctor to find out what to do.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

All oral products:

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.

Enteral suspension:

  • Store in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • Store in original container.

All products:

  • Protect from light.
  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date

2015-02-11

Copyright

Copyright © 2014 Clinical Drug Information, LLC and Lexi-Comp, Inc.
If you have any questions or concerns, talk with a member of your healthcare team. You can reach them Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at ____________________. After 5:00 pm, during the weekend, and on holidays, please call____________________. If there’s no number listed, or you’re not sure, call 212-639-2000.
Carbidopa and Levodopa
©2015 Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center - Generated on August 28, 2015