Parkinson's disease is believed to be due to a lack of an important chemical (dopamine) in the brain. Levodopa is converted into dopamine in the brain, leading to the relief of Parkinson's disease symptoms. Both carbidopa and entacapone are given with levodopa to increase the amount of levodopa that is converted into dopamine.
Take this medication by mouth exactly as prescribed. Do not increase the dose or take more frequently without consulting your doctor.
Take only one tablet for each dose. Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush, chew, or split the tablet. Doing so may cause you to get the wrong dose and also cause staining of the mouth, dentures, and saliva. See also Side Effects section.
It is best to avoid a high protein diet (decreases the amount of levodopa that your body takes in) during treatment, unless directed otherwise by your doctor. Separate your dose of this medication as many hours as possible from any iron supplements or products containing iron (such as multivitamins with minerals) you may take. Iron can reduce the amount of carbidopa and levodopa available to the body. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, previous drug therapy, response to therapy, and side effects if they occur.
Some patients may experience a "wearing-off" (worsening of symptoms) before the next dose is due. An "on-off" effect might also occur, in which sudden short periods of stiffness occur. If these effects occur, contact your doctor for possible dose adjustments that may help to lessen this effect.
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day.
If symptoms worsen while using this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, stomach upset, loss of appetite, dry mouth, or difficulty sleeping may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
This medication may cause the saliva, urine, or sweat to turn a dark color. This is harmless; however, it may discolor clothing.
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.
Some people taking this medication have fallen asleep suddenly during their usual daily activities (such as talking on the phone, driving). In some cases, sleep occurred without any feelings of drowsiness beforehand. This sleep effect may occur anytime during treatment with this medication, including up to 1 year after starting the medication. If you experience increased sleepiness or fall asleep during the day, do not drive or take part in other possibly dangerous activities until you have discussed this effect with your doctor. Your risk of this sleep effect is increased by using alcohol or other medications that can make you drowsy. See also Precautions section.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: involuntary movements (especially twitching of the eyelid), fainting or falling, difficulty swallowing, stomach/abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, vision changes (including blurred vision), black/tarry stools, muscle pain, change in the amount of urine, mental/mood changes (such as confusion, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide), signs of infection (e.g., persistent sore throat), unusual strong urges (such as increased gambling, increased sexual urges).
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: chest pain.
Abruptly stopping or reducing the dose of this medication may rarely cause a serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Get medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, unusual muscle stiffness, severe confusion, sweating, fast/irregular heartbeat, rapid breathing.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: 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 -
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, glaucoma, breathing problems, heart disease (especially history of heart attack), kidney disease, ulcers, mental/mood disorders (e.g., depression, schizophrenia), blood disorders, sleep disorders.
To minimize dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a seated or lying position.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. See also Side Effects section.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Levodopa passes into breast milk. It is unknown if carbidopa or entacapone pass into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: medications to treat high blood pressure (hypertension), other drugs to treat Parkinson's disease (including other drugs that contain levodopa, carbidopa, or entacapone), iron vitamins, tetrabenazine, tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline), phenytoin, papaverine, isoproterenol, adrenaline (epinephrine), norepinephrine, dopamine, dobutamine, alpha-methyldopa, apomorphine, isoetharine, bitolterol, probenecid, cholestyramine, metoclopramide, selegiline, certain antibiotics (e.g., erythromycin, ampicillin, rifampin, chloramphenicol).
Taking MAO inhibitors with this medication may cause a serious (possibly fatal) drug interaction. Avoid taking MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, tranylcypromine) during treatment with this medication. Most MAO inhibitors should also not be taken for two weeks before treatment with this medication. However, certain MAO inhibitors (rasagiline, selegiline) may be used with careful monitoring by your doctor. Ask your doctor when to start or stop taking this medication.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness including alcohol, antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), and narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone ).
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
This medication can cause false results with urine glucose testing in diabetics. Blood glucose testing should be performed instead.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe dizziness, irregular or fast heartbeat, increased blinking/eyelid spasms (blepharospasms).
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., liver function tests, eye exams) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
People with Parkinson's disease may have an increased risk for developing skin cancer (melanoma). Tell your doctor promptly if you notice a change in the appearance or size of moles or other unusual skin changes. Ask your doctor if you should have regular skin exams.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised October 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.Go to medicine cabinet