Carbidopa review

Carbidopa, also known as MK-486, is a decarboxylase inhibitor given to patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. It is used together with the drug Levodopa, a drug which increases the amount of dopamine in the body.

Carbidopa prevents the drug Levodopa from breaking down before it reaches the central nervous system. Because of this, only a smaller dosage of Levodopa is needed, which minimizes the drug’s side effects like nausea and vomiting. Carbidopa, together with Levodopa, are a drug combination used to treat Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder that affects the central nervous system, damage to speech and motor skills.

By itself, Carbidopa as a drug does not work. It is effective only when taken in tandem with Levodopa. Both are also used for the treatment of the side effects of chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Prolixin) and perphenazine (Trilafon) which can cause conditions that affect the muscles.

Carbidopa can cause dizziness or drowsiness and should not be taken within two hours of driving a vehicle, operating heavy machinery, or performing any activity which involves a great amount of risk.

Patients who are taking antidepressant drugs like isocarboxazid (Marplan) and phenelzine (Nardil), and anxiety drugs like tranycypromine (Parnate) should inform their doctor before starting Carbidopa-Levodopa treatment. They should also tell their doctor if they are suffering from narrow-angle glaucoma (an eye disease), or malignant melanoma (a kind of skin cancer).

Other drugs that affect Carbidopa treatment include antacids; hypertension drugs; medication used for the treatment of epilepsy like phenytoin (Dilantin), ethotoin (Peganone) and mephenytoin (Mesantoin); spasm drugs like papaverine (Pavabid, Cerespan), and pyridoxine (Vitamin B6). Patients taking these drug will have to refrain from taking Carbidopa, or take a differently adjusted dosage and undergo special medical monitoring while under treatment.

Diabetic sufferers should also be aware that Carbidopa may affect the results of sugar and ketone urine tests, so they should inform their doctor if they are taking the medication.

Other conditions that need to be disclosed before taking Carbidopa include heart disease, hypertension or high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), irregular heartbeat, previous incidences of heart attack, respiratory diseases like asthma, liver disease, kidney ailments, hormonal diseases which affect the endocrine glands, gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcers, wide-angle glaucoma, depression and other similar psychiatric syndromes.

Patients who are pregnant or become pregnant during treatment should inform their doctor of this condition. The effects of Carbidopa on the fetus are as yet unknown, and it is advisable to use the drug with caution. Likewise, patients who are breastfeeding should let their doctor know before proceeding with treatment as Carbidopa may also be passed into breast milk.

Carbidopa, by itself, does not cause any side effects. However, when combined with Levodopa, the tandem may result in slight nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite; constipation, dry mouth or blurry eyesight; hand spasms and muscle twitches; sleep difficulties, confusion or nightmares; anxiety; fatigue, and darker sweat and urine.

If patients start experiencing severe allergic reactions like breathing difficulties or swelling of the facial tissues; hives; uncontrollable body movements; constant nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, irregular heartbeat; unexplainable mood swings and seizures, they should immediately stop taking Carbidopa and seek emergency medical care as soon as possible.

Carbidopa is distributed under the brand name Lodosyn and comes in round orange 25 mg. tablets. In combination with Levodopa, it is also known as Sinemet, Parcopa, Atamet and Stalevo. Carbidopa should be taken as prescribed by the doctor, usually together with Levodopa, for the drug to take effect.

Carbidopa has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of carbidopa

• Molecular formula of carbidopa is C10H14N2O4
• Chemical IUPAC Name is 3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-2-hydrazinyl-2-methyl-propanoic acid
• Molecular weight is 226.229 g/mol
Carbidopa available : 10-100mg tablets, 25-250mg tablets, 25-100mg tablets

Brand name(s): Atamet, Carbidopum, Lodosin, Lodosyn, Sinemet

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