Carbidopa and levodopa is a combination medicine used to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as muscle stiffness, tremors, spasms, and poor muscle control. Parkinson’s disease may be caused by low levels of a chemical called dopamine (DOE pa meen) in the brain.

Levodopa is converted to dopamine in the brain. Carbidopa helps prevent the breakdown of levodopa before it can reach the brain and take effect.

Carbidopa and levodopa is also used to treat Parkinson symptoms caused by carbon monoxide poisoning or manganese intoxication.

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  • Parcopa, Rytary, Sinemet, Sinemet CR
  • More common
    Twitching, twisting, uncontrolled repetitive movements of the tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs
    Less common
    Bladder pain
    bloody or cloudy urine
    chest pain
    confusion
    difficult, burning, or painful urination
    discouragement
    feeling sad or empty
    frequent urge to urinate
    inability to move the eyes
    increased blinking or spasms of the eyelid
    irritability
    lack of appetite
    loss of interest or pleasure
    lower back or side pain
    seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
    sticking out of tongue
    tiredness
    trouble concentrating
    trouble in breathing, speaking, or swallowing
    trouble sleeping
    uncontrolled twisting movements of the neck, trunk, arms, or legs
    unusual facial expressions
    Incidence not known
    Anxiety
    black, tarry stools
    bluish color
    blurred vision
    changes in skin color
    chest discomfort
    chills
    convulsions
    cough or hoarseness
    dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
    dry mouth
    false beliefs that cannot be changed by facts
    fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
    feelings about hurting oneself or others
    fever with or without chills
    general feeling of tiredness or weakness
    high fever
    hyperventilation
    increased in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
    increased interest in sexual intercourse
    increased sweating
    large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
    loss of bladder control
    lower back or side pain
    nausea
    pain
    pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
    restlessness
    seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
    severe muscle stiffness
    shaking
    sore throat
    sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
    swelling of the foot or leg
    swollen glands
    tenderness
    tiredness
    unusual bleeding or bruising
    unusual tiredness or weakness
    unusually pale skin
    vomiting
    Some carbidopa / levodopa side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

    Less common
    Acid or sour stomach
    back or shoulder pain
    belching
    body aches or pain
    burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
    diarrhea
    difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
    ear congestion
    headache
    heartburn
    indigestion
    loss of voice
    muscle cramps
    nasal congestion
    runny nose
    sneezing
    stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
    unusual dreams
    weight loss
    Incidence not known
    Abdominal or stomach distress
    bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
    belching
    change in taste
    dark sweat
    double vision
    enlarged pupils
    feeling of warmth
    hair loss or thinning of the hair
    lack or loss of strength
    redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
    seeing double
    skin rash, hives or welts, itching
  • (carbidopa and levodopa) tablet, orally disintegrating