Carbidopa-Levodopa Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease
Carbidopa Levodopa, also termed as Levocarb, is a combination of two drugs: Carbidopa and Levodopa. This combination drug is a dopamine agonist used for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Available with the brand name of Apo-Levocarb, Atamet, Parcopa or Sinemet, it can also be used for the treatment of conditions like dopamine responsive dystonia or DRD.
How the drug works
Due to the action of DOPA decarboxylase, a naturally occurring enzyme, Levodopa gets converted into dopamine both in the central nervous system and in peripheral circulation. After this, central dopamine receptors are activated and they improve Parkinson’s disease symptoms. Activation of dopamine receptors usually causes vomiting and nausea, and that is why, it is administered along with Carbidopa, a DOPA decarboxylase inhibitor. Carbidopa works by not crossing the blood brain barriers, thus preventing peripheral converting of levodopa into dopamine and reducing unwanted side effects associated with Levodopa. Combining Carbidopa to Levodopa also enhances Levodopa quantity in the patient’s blood stream which is available to go into the brain.
How Carbidopa Levodopa is given
The combination of Carbidopa and Levodopa is available in the form of regular tablets, extended release tablets and as orally disintegrating tablets. If you are using extended release tablets of the medication, you will have to swallow it whole, without chewing, breaking, or crushing it. In order to avoid any Carbidopa Levodopa side effects and to keep the drug level constant in your body, try to take your dose at almost the same time each day. If you are using a regular tablet, then you can break or crush it to facilitate swallowing.
Orally disintegrating tablet has to be kept in your mouth and allowed to dissolve. In order to ensure that the medication is helping your condition and not causing any harmful effects, you will need to give regular blood tests during Carbidopa Levodopa treatment. In case of unsatisfactory improvement, your doctor may decide to give you Pramipexole as its substitute.