levodopa-carbidopa, Sinemet, Sinemet CR, Parcopa (cont.)

PRESCRIBED FOR: Carbidopa-levodopa is used for the management of Parkinson's disease.

SIDE EFFECTS: Most patients receiving carbidopa-levodopa experience side effects, but these usually are reversible. Occasional involuntary movements are the most common of the serious side effects of carbidopa-levodopa therapy, and these are:

  • chewing,
  • gnawing,
  • twisting,
  • tongue or
  • mouth movements,
  • head bobbing, or
  • movements of the feet, hands, or shoulder which may respond to a reduction in the dose.

Muscle twitching, dizziness, muscle jerks during sleep, and hand tremor also may occur.

Gastrointestinal side effects are also common in patients receiving carbidopa-levodopa and these include:

Patients may experience dizziness upon standing up, associated with a drop in blood pressure. Fortunately, the body develops tolerance to this side effect within a few months.

Infrequently, patients may develop a drop in white blood cell count during carbidopa-levodopa therapy. This is a reason to temporarily, if not permanently, stop treatment.

Other important side effects of carbidopa-levodopa therapy include psychiatric disturbances such as:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/30/2014

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