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How does levodopa help with Parkinson's disease?

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Levodopa (also called L-dopa) is the most commonly prescribed medicine for Parkinson’s. It’s also the best at controlling the symptoms of the condition, particularly slow movements and stiff, rigid body parts.

Your brain cells change it into dopamine, a chemical the brain uses to send signals that help you move your body. People with Parkinson’s don’t have enough dopamine in their brains to control their movements.

People who take levodopa for 3-5 years may eventually have restlessness, confusion, or unusual movements within a few hours of taking the medicine. Changes in the amount or timing of your dose will usually prevent these side effects. A new, inhalable powder form of levopoda (INBRIJA) has been approved for those experiencing OFF periods, OFF periods are when Parkinson’s symptoms return during periods between scheduled doses of levodopa/carbidopa.

From: Medications for Parkinson's Disease WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Neil Lava on January 20, 2019

Medically Reviewed on 1/20/2019

SOURCES:

FDA. "FDA approves drug to treat Parkinson’s disease."

National Parkinson Foundation: "How Is PD Treated?" “Carbidopa-Levodopa,” “Dopamine agonists,” “MAO-B inhibitors.”

Parkinson's Disease Foundation: "Medications & Treatments."

UpToDate: "Patient information: Parkinson disease treatment options -- medications (Beyond the Basics)."

Teva Neuroscience Inc.

 

Reviewed by Neil Lava on January 20, 2019

SOURCES:

FDA. "FDA approves drug to treat Parkinson’s disease."

National Parkinson Foundation: "How Is PD Treated?" “Carbidopa-Levodopa,” “Dopamine agonists,” “MAO-B inhibitors.”

Parkinson's Disease Foundation: "Medications & Treatments."

UpToDate: "Patient information: Parkinson disease treatment options -- medications (Beyond the Basics)."

Teva Neuroscience Inc.

 

Reviewed by Neil Lava on January 20, 2019

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