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  • Generic Name: (carbidopa/levodopa)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 02/2014
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Parcopa is an orally disintegrating tablet (tablet that dissolves in your mouth) used to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease or Parkinson-like symptoms associated with encephalitis (swelling of the brain) or injury to the nervous system caused by carbon monoxide or manganese poisoning. Parcopa contains two medicines: carbidopa and levodopa.

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Symptoms of Parkinson's disease may occur when there is a decrease in dopamine in the brain. Levodopa works by being converted to dopamine in the brain. Carbidopa works by preventing levodopa from being broken down before it reaches the brain.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: Parcopa may help to improve mobility and symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease, such as shaking or rigidity. Parcopa may also allow lower doses of levodopa, thereby reducing nausea and vomiting.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Parcopa exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

      How do I know it is working?

      Your healthcare provider may ask you a series of questions from time to time that will help assess how well your symptoms are controlled with treatment.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      More common side effects may include: involuntary muscle movements, nausea.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (a life-threatening brain disorder) with symptoms such as high fever, excessive sweating, muscle rigidity, confusion, changes in your breathing, fast or irregular heartbeat, or changes in your blood pressure.

      Changes in your behavior, such as depression, suicidal tendencies, intense urges to gamble, increased sexual urges, or other intense urges.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not take Parcopa if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

      Do not take Parcopa if you have a condition called narrow-angle glaucoma (high pressure in the eye).

      Do not take Parcopa if you have suspicious, undiagnosed skin lesions or a history of melanoma (a form of cancer).

      Do not take Parcopa if you take a certain type of monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (such as phenelzine), a class of medications used to treat depression and other conditions. Do not start taking Parcopa if you stopped taking a certain type of MAOI in the last 2 weeks, unless directed to do so by your healthcare provider.


    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Parcopa. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart, kidney, or liver problems; asthma or lung problems; a history of mental disturbances or psychosis; a history of peptic ulcers; long-term wide-angle glaucoma; or if you have a condition called phenylketonuria (an inability to process phenylalanine, a protein in your body).

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Adults: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you and may increase your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Take Parcopa exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Parcopa without first talking to your healthcare provider.

      Just before taking Parcopa, gently remove the tablet from the bottle with dry hands. Immediately place the tablet on your tongue where it will dissolve in seconds, then swallow it with your saliva.

      Take Parcopa at regular intervals, as directed by your healthcare provider. Parcopa is designed to release the medicine immediately in your body (within 30 minutes).

      There may be a "wearing-off" effect that may occur at the end of the dosing interval. Tell your healthcare provider if this will affect your lifestyle.

      Parcopa may cause your saliva, urine, or sweat to become a dark color (red, brown, or black) after taking it. Parcopa may also discolor your clothing.

      Please review the instructions regarding your diet while taking Parcopa with your healthcare provider.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how Parcopa affects you.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If Parcopa is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Parcopa with the following: blood pressure/heart medications (such as lisinopril or losartan), certain antidepressants (such as amitriptyline or nortriptyline), iron salts, isoniazid, MAOIs, metoclopramide, phenothiazines (such as thioridazine), phenytoin, or risperidone.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      The effects of Parcopa during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss a dose of Parcopa, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
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