Carbidopa and Levodopa (Page 3 of 4)
Information for Patients: The patient should be informed that this combination product is an immediate-release formulation of carbidopa and levodopa that is designed to begin release of ingredients within 30 minutes. It is important that carbidopa and levodopa be taken at regular intervals according to the schedule outlined by the physician. The patient should be cautioned not to change the prescribed dosage regimen and not to add any additional antiparkinson medications, including other carbidopa levodopa preparations, without first consulting the physician.
Patients should be advised that sometimes a ‘wearing-off’ effect may occur at the end of the dosing interval. The physician should be notified if such response poses a problem to lifestyle.
Patients should be advised that occasionally, dark color (red, brown, or black) may appear in saliva, urine, or sweat after ingestion of carbidopa and levodopa. Although the color appears to be clinically insignificant, garments may become discolored.
The patient should be advised that a change in diet to foods that are high in protein may delay the absorption of levodopa and may reduce the amount taken up in the circulation. Excessive acidity also delays stomach emptying, thus delaying the absorption of levodopa. Iron salts (such as in multivitamin tablets) may also reduce the amount of levodopa available to the body. The above factors may reduce the clinical effectiveness of the levodopa or carbidopa levodopa therapy.
Patients should be alerted to the possibility of sudden onset of sleep during daily activities, in some cases without awareness or warning signs, when they are taking dopaminergic agents, including levodopa. Patients should be advised to exercise caution while driving or operating machinery and that if they have experienced somnolence and/or sudden sleep onset, they must refrain from these activities. (See WARNINGS, Falling Asleep During Activities of Daily Living and Somnolence.)
There have been reports of patients experiencing intense urges to gamble, increased sexual urges, and other intense urges, and the inability to control these urges while taking one or more of the medications that increase central dopaminergic tone and that are generally used for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, including carbidopa and levodopa. Although it is not proven that the medications caused these events, these urges were reported to have stopped in some cases when the dose was reduced or the medication was stopped. Prescribers should ask patients about the development of new or increased gambling urges, sexual urges or other urges while being treated with carbidopa and levodopa. Patients should inform their physician if they experience new or increased gambling urges, increased sexual urges, or other intense urges while taking carbidopa and levodopa. Physicians should consider dose reduction or stopping the medication if a patient develops such urges while taking carbidopa and levodopa (see PRECAUTIONS, Impulse Control/Compulsive Behaviors).
Laboratory Tests: Abnormalities in laboratory tests may include elevations of liver function tests such as alkaline phosphatase, SGOT (AST), SGPT (ALT), lactic dehydrogenase (LDH), and bilirubin. Abnormalities in blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and positive Coombs test have also been reported. Commonly, levels of blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and uric acid are lower during administration of this combination product than with levodopa.
Carbidopa and levodopa may cause a false-positive reaction for urinary ketone bodies when a test tape is used for determination of ketonuria. This reaction will not be altered by boiling the urine specimen. False-negative tests may result with the use of glucose-oxidase methods of testing for glucosuria.
Cases of falsely diagnosed pheochromocytoma in patients on carbidopa levodopa therapy have been reported very rarely. Caution should be exercised when interpreting the plasma and urine levels of catecholamines and their metabolites in patients on levodopa or carbidopa levodopa therapy.
Drug Interactions: Caution should be exercised when the following drugs are administered concomitantly with carbidopa and levodopa.
Symptomatic postural hypotension occurred when carbidopa and levodopa was added to the treatment of a patient receiving antihypertensive drugs. Therefore, when therapy with carbidopa and levodopa is started, dosage adjustment of the antihypertensive drug may be required.
For patients receiving MAO inhibitors (Type A or B), see CONTRAINDICATIONS. Concomitant therapy with selegiline and carbidopa and levodopa may be associated with severe orthostatic hypotension not attributable to carbidopa levodopa alone (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).
There have been rare reports of adverse reactions, including hypertension and dyskinesia, resulting from the concomitant use of tricyclic antidepressants and carbidopa and levodopa.
Dopamine D2 receptor antagonists (e.g., phenothiazines, butyrophenones, risperidone) and isoniazid may reduce the therapeutic effects of levodopa. In addition, the beneficial effects of levodopa in Parkinson’s disease have been reported to be reversed by phenytoin and papaverine. Patients taking these drugs with carbidopa and levodopa should be carefully observed for loss of therapeutic response.
Use of carbidopa and levodopa with dopamine-depleting agents (e.g., reserpine and tetrabenazine) or other drugs known to deplete monoamine stores is not recommended.
Carbidopa and levodopa and iron salts or multivitamins containing iron salts should be coadministered with caution. Iron salts can form chelates with levodopa and carbidopa and consequently reduce the bioavailability of carbidopa and levodopa.
Although metoclopramide may increase the bioavailability of levodopa by increasing gastric emptying, metoclopramide may also adversely affect disease control by its dopamine receptor antagonistic properties.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility: In a two-year bioassay of carbidopa and levodopa, no evidence of carcinogenicity was found in rats receiving doses of approximately two times the maximum daily human dose of carbidopa and four times the maximum daily human dose of levodopa.
In reproduction studies with carbidopa and levodopa, no effects on fertility were found in rats receiving doses of approximately two times the maximum daily human dose of carbidopa and four times the maximum daily human dose of levodopa.
Pregnancy: Teratogenic Effects: No teratogenic effects were observed in a study in mice receiving up to 20 times the maximum recommended human dose of carbidopa and levodopa. There was a decrease in the number of live pups delivered by rats receiving approximately two times the maximum recommended human dose of carbidopa and approximately five times the maximum recommended human dose of levodopa during organogenesis. Carbidopa and levodopa caused both visceral and skeletal malformations in rabbits at all doses and ratios of carbidopa/levodopa tested, which ranged from 10 times/5 times the maximum recommended human dose of carbidopa/levodopa to 20 times/10 times the maximum recommended human dose of carbidopa/levodopa.
There are no adequate or well-controlled studies in pregnant women. It has been reported from individual cases that levodopa crosses the human placental barrier, enters the fetus, and is metabolized. Carbidopa concentrations in fetal tissue appeared to be minimal. Use of carbidopa and levodopa in women of childbearing potential requires that the anticipated benefits of the drug be weighed against possible hazards to mother and child.
Nursing Mothers: Levodopa has been detected in human milk. Caution should be exercised when carbidopa and levodopa is administered to a nursing woman.
Pediatric Use: Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established. Use of the drug in patients below the age of 18 is not recommended.
Geriatric Use: In the clinical efficacy trials for carbidopa and levodopa, almost half of the patients were older than 65, but few were older than 75. No overall meaningful differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals to adverse drug reactions such as hallucinations cannot be ruled out. There is no specific dosing recommendation based upon clinical pharmacology data as carbidopa and levodopa is titrated as tolerated for clinical effect.
The most common adverse reactions reported with carbidopa and levodopa have included dyskinesias, such as choreiform, dystonic, and other involuntary movements, and nausea.
The following other adverse reactions have been reported with carbidopa and levodopa:
Body As A Whole: chest pain, asthenia.
Cardiovascular: cardiac irregularities, hypotension, orthostatic effects including orthostatic hypotension, hypertension, syncope, phlebitis, palpitation.
Gastrointestinal: dark saliva, gastrointestinal bleeding, development of duodenal ulcer, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, dyspepsia, dry mouth, taste alterations.
Hematologic: agranulocytosis, hemolytic and non-hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia.
Hypersensitivity: angioedema, urticaria, pruritus, Henoch-Schönlein purpura, bullous lesions (including pemphigus-like reactions).
Musculoskeletal: back pain, shoulder pain, muscle cramps.
Nervous System/Psychiatric: psychotic episodes including delusions, hallucinations, and paranoid ideation, bradykinetic episodes (“on-off” phenomenon), confusion, agitation, dizziness, somnolence, dream abnormalities including nightmares, insomnia, paresthesia, headache, depression with or without development of suicidal tendencies, dementia, pathological gambling, increased libido including hypersexuality, impulse control symptoms. Convulsions also have occurred; however, a causal relationship with carbidopa and levodopa has not been established.
Respiratory: dyspnea, upper respiratory infection.
Skin: rash, increased sweating, alopecia, dark sweat.
Urogenital: urinary tract infection, urinary frequency, dark urine.
Laboratory Tests: decreased hemoglobin and hematocrit; abnormalities in alkaline phosphatase, SGOT (AST), SGPT (ALT), LDH, bilirubin, (BUN), Coombs test; elevated serum glucose; white blood cells, bacteria, and blood in the urine.
Other adverse reactions that have been reported with levodopa alone and with various carbidopa levodopa formulations, and may occur with this combination product are:
Body As A Whole: abdominal pain and distress, fatigue.
Cardiovascular: myocardial infarction.
Gastrointestinal: gastrointestinal pain, dysphagia, sialorrhea, flatulence, bruxism, burning sensation of the tongue, heartburn, hiccups.
Metabolic: edema, weight gain, weight loss.
Musculoskeletal: leg pain.
Nervous System/Psychiatric: ataxia, extrapyramidal disorder, falling, anxiety, gait abnormalities, nervousness, decreased mental acuity, memory impairment, disorientation, euphoria, blepharospasm (which may be taken as an early sign of excess dosage; consideration of dosage reduction may be made at this time), trismus, increased tremor, numbness, muscle twitching, activation of latent Horner’s syndrome, peripheral neuropathy.
Respiratory: pharyngeal pain, cough.
Skin: malignant melanoma (see also CONTRAINDICATIONS), flushing.
Special Senses: oculogyric crises, diplopia, blurred vision, dilated pupils.
Urogenital: urinary retention, urinary incontinence, priapism.
Miscellaneous: bizarre breathing patterns, faintness, hoarseness, malaise, hot flashes, sense of stimulation.
Laboratory Tests: decreased white blood cell count and serum potassium; increased serum creatinine and uric acid; protein and glucose in urine.
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