carbidopa/levodopa - oral, Atamet, Sinemet (cont.)
HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth with food, usually 3 to 4 times a day or as directed by your doctor. If you have been taking levodopa without any carbidopa and are taking this combination for the first time, wait at least 12 hours after your last levodopa dose before starting this medication. You may want to start your first dose in the morning. Your doctor will usually reduce your levodopa dose when starting this combination to prevent side effects from too much dopamine. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions closely.This combination comes in different strengths with different amounts of carbidopa and levodopa in each tablet. Be sure you have the correct strength of both drugs. Your doctor may also prescribe carbidopa alone to be taken with this combination.Avoid high-protein diets because they may prevent absorption of this medication. Separate your dose of this medication as many hours as possible from any iron supplements or products containing iron (e.g., multivitamins with minerals) you may take. Iron can reduce the amount of carbidopa and levodopa available to the body.Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.Some people may experience a decrease in the effectiveness of this medication just before the next dose is due. If this occurs and is bothersome, notify your doctor. Do not change your dose of this or any other medication without checking with your doctor first.Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is quickly reduced or suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually reduced. (See also Side Effects section.)Inform your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
SIDE EFFECTS: Dizziness, nausea, vomiting, trouble sleeping, and headache may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.This medication may cause your urine, sweat or saliva to turn red, brown, or black. This is harmless, but your clothes may become discolored.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: greatly increased eye blinking/twitching, irregular heartbeat, fainting, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, depression, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide), worsening of involuntary movements/spasms.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: easy bleeding/bruising, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), tingling of the hands/feet, vision changes (e.g., blurred/double vision).Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain, seizures, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, black/tarry stools.Abruptly stopping or reducing the dose of this medication may rarely cause a serious (sometimes fatal) condition (neuroleptic malignant syndrome). Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: fast/shallow breathing, confusion, severe dizziness/fainting, high fever, unusual muscle stiffness, unusual sweating.For males, in the very unlikely event you have a painful or prolonged erection (lasting more than 4 hours), stop using this drug and seek immediate medical attention or permanent problems could occur.A very serious allergic reaction is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
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