Uses

This medication is used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease (such as shakiness, stiffness, difficulty moving) or Parkinson-like conditions.Parkinson's disease is thought to be caused by too little of a naturally occurring substance (dopamine) in the brain. Levodopa changes into dopamine in the brain, helping to control movement. Carbidopa prevents the breakdown of levodopa in the bloodstream so more levodopa can enter the brain. Carbidopa can also reduce some of levodopa's side effects such as nausea and vomiting.

How to use Carbidopa-Levodopa Capsule, Extended Release

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 3 times a day.

Swallow the capsules whole. Do not crush or chew the capsules. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. If you have trouble swallowing the capsule, you may open up the capsule and sprinkle the entire contents onto a small amount (1 to 2 tablespoons or 15 to 30 grams) of applesauce. Swallow all of the mixture right away without chewing it. Do not prepare the mixture ahead of time for later use.

This medication may be taken with or without food. However, avoid high-protein diets because they may reduce how much of the medication you can absorb. Also avoid taking this medication with a high-fat, high-calorie meal since this can slow down the time it begins to work by about 2 hours. The manufacturer says you should take your first dose of the day about 1 to 2 hours before eating. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how best to take this medication.

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/levodopa that is absorbed by your body.

Do not take other forms of carbidopa or levodopa without consulting your doctor first.

Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

Some people may experience a "wearing-off" effect of this medication just before the next dose is due or an "on-off" effect at other times. If these effects occur and bother you, tell 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 this medication is suddenly stopped. Also, if you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms (such as anxiety, depression, confusion, fever, muscle stiffness). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used this medication for a long time or in high doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.