Levodopa

Description

Levodopa is used in combination with carbidopa to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease and Parkinson's-like symptoms which are associated with some other diseases. These may include shakiness, stiffness, and slowness of movement. These symptoms are usually caused by a lack of dopamine, a natural substance present in the brain.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Levodopa

  • Twitching
  • Uncontrolled muscle movements
  • Fainting
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Lack of hunger
  • Feeling sad or empty
  • Nervousness
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal and stomach pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Depression
  • Nausea and Vomiting

Uses of Levodopa

What is it prescribed for?

  • Parkinson's disease
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Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The time required for this medicine to show its effect is about 15 minutes.
  • Duration of effect
    The time until which this medicine remains active in the body is 5 to 24 hours.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Consumption of alcohol during treatment with this medicine may increase the risk of severe side effects. These side effects may include confusion, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, weakness, and fainting. It is advised that you do not perform any activities that require high mental alertness like driving a vehicle or operating machinery if you consume alcohol while taking this medicine.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit forming tendency has been reported.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary. Discuss all the risks and benefits with your doctor before taking this medicine.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless necessary. Discuss all the risks and benefits with your doctor before taking this medicine.

Allergy

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a known allergy to levodopa or carbidopa.

Narrow angle glaucoma

Levodopa and carbidopa are not recommended for use in patients with a known history of narrow-angle glaucoma due to the increased risk of worsening of the patient's condition.

Nonselective monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients who are taking nonselective monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or have taken these medicines in the past 14 days due to the increased risk of severe drug-drug interactions. It is advised that patients should inform the doctor about all their current medicines including herbs and supplements before beginning therapy with this medicine.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary. Discuss all the risks and benefits with your doctor before taking this medicine.

Breast-feeding

This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless necessary. Discuss all the risks and benefits with your doctor before taking this medicine.
General warnings

Hallucinations

Levodopa should be used with caution due to an increased risk of severe side effects such as hallucinations, psychotic episodes, and confusion. The risk is especially higher in the elderly patients. Close monitoring of patients for any changes in mood and behavior is recommended during treatment with this medicine. Any unusual symptoms should be reported to the doctor on priority. It is advised that you do not perform any activities that require high mental alertness like driving a vehicle or operating machinery while taking this medicine.

Compulsive Behaviors

This medicine should be used with caution due to the increased risk of impulsive or compulsive behaviors. These may include an intense urge to gamble, binge eat, or spend money. Close monitoring of patients for any change in behavior and mood is recommended during treatment with this medicine. Any unusual symptoms should be reported to the doctor on priority. Replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the clinical condition of the patient.

Falling asleep during daily activities

Levodopa should be used with caution due to the increased risk of side effects such as dizziness, fainting, and drowsiness. This may cause you to fall asleep during your day-to-day activities. It is advised that you do not perform any activities that require high mental alertness like driving a vehicle or operating machinery while taking this medicine.

Missed Dose

If a dose of Levodopa is missed, take the dose as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed one.

Overdose

Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

N/A

Instructions

Consumption of alcohol during treatment with this medicine may increase the risk of severe side effects. These side effects may include confusion, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, weakness, and fainting. It is advised that you do not perform any activities that require high mental alertness like driving a vehicle or operating machinery if you consume alcohol while taking this medicine.
Interaction with Medicine

Nitrofurantoin

Amiodarone

Captopril

Alprazolam

Atorvastatin

Furosemide

Disease interactions

Hypotension

Levodopa may increase the risk of orthostatic hypotension. This risk is especially higher in patients receiving high blood pressure medicines and elderly patients. Close monitoring of blood pressure may be necessary for such patients based on the clinical condition. Patients are advised to get up slowly from a sitting or a lying position to avoid fainting and falling. Report any unusual symptoms to the doctor immediately. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the clinical condition.

Psychosis

Levodopa is not recommended for use in patients with a known history of psychotic disorders due to the increased risk of worsening of the patient's condition. Close monitoring of patients for any changes in behavior or mood may be necessary based on the clinical condition. Replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases.

Glaucoma

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a known history of narrow-angle glaucoma due to the increased risk of worsening of the patient's condition.

Cardiovascular disease

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with a known history of cardiovascular diseases due to the increased risk of worsening of the patient's condition. Close monitoring of heart function is recommended for such patients. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the clinical condition of the patient.

Depression

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with a known history of depression due to the increased risk of worsening of the patient's condition. Patients should be monitored closely for any changes in behavior and mood. Replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the clinical condition of the patient.

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome

Levodopa is not recommended for use in patients with a history of Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome due to the increased risk of severe side effects. These side effects may include altered mental status, hyperthermia, and irregular pulse or blood pressure. Close monitoring of patients for any unusual symptoms is necessary. Replacement with a suitable alternative may be done based on the clinical condition.
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
Take Levodopa exactly as instructed by the doctor. Do not take larger amounts than prescribed. Seek emergency medical treatment in case of any severe side effects. Ensure that the course of treatment is completed. Do not stop the use of this medicine without consulting your doctor.
Miscelleneous

To be taken on an empty stomach

To be taken as instructed by doctor

Causes sleepiness

How it works
Levodopa gets converted into dopamine in the brain and relieves the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

Dopaminergic Antiparkinsonism agents

Schedule

Schedule H

[Internet]. 2017 [cited 8 August 2017]. Available from:

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/9647

DailyMed - CARBIDOPA AND LEVODOPA - carbidopa and levodopa tablet, extended release [Internet]. Dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. 2017 [cited 8 August 2017]. Available from:

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=d2a64f14-f638-49d9-8a96-cb7ae46ac3ea

Levodopa and Carbidopa: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Medlineplus.gov. 2017 [cited 8 August 2017]. Available from:

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a601068.html

Prescribing medicines in pregnancy database [Internet]. Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). 2017 [cited 8 August 2017]. Available from:

http://www.tga.gov.au/prescribing-medicines-pregnancy-database

Levodopa - DrugBank [Internet]. Drugbank.ca. 2017 [cited 12 August 2017]. Available from:

https://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB01235

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Information on this page was last updated on 15 Aug 2017

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