Levodopa is a drug to relieve the symptoms of Parkinson's disease ,  such as body shaking, muscle stiffness ,  and difficulty moving. To increase the effectiveness of treatment, l evodopa is often combined with carbidopa or benserazide.

Parkinson's disease is caused by damage or disruption of the substantia nigra, which is the part of the brain responsible for producing dopamine. Dopamine  is a hormone that plays an important role in controlling movement and coordination. Due to the lack of dopamine levels, various symptoms of Parkinson's disease appear.

Levodopa consumed will turn into dopamine. That way, the symptoms and movement disorders, due to a lack of dopamine can subside. Keep in mind that these drugs cannot cure Parkinson's disease.

Levodopa trademarks: Leparson, Levoben, Levopar, Levazide, Madopar, Stalevo

What is Levodopa

class Prescription drug
Category Antiparkinsonian drug
Benefit Relieve the symptoms  of parkinson's disease
Consumed by Mature
Levodopa for pregnant and lactating women Category C : Animal studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus, but there have been no controlled studies in pregnant women.

Drugs should only be used if the expected benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus.

Levodopa is thought to cause a decrease in milk production in nursing mothers. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medicine without consulting your doctor first.

Drug Form Tablet

Precautions Before Taking Levodopa

Levodopa should only be taken as prescribed by a doctor. Below are some things to consider before taking levodopa:

  • Do not take levodopa if you are allergic to this drug. Tell your doctor about any history of allergies you have.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking or have recently had treatment with a mononamine oxidase inhibitor  ( MAOI ), in the past 14 days. Levodopa should not be taken by these patients.
  • Tell your doctor if you have angle-closure glaucoma, melanoma , liver disease, heart disease , arrhythmia, lung disease, diabetes , epilepsy, seizures , osteomalacia, stomach ulcers, stomach ulcers, or any mental disorder .
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking certain medications, supplements or herbal products.
  • Tell your doctor that you are using levodopa before having surgery, including dental surgery.
  • Do not drive a vehicle or do activities that require alertness after taking levodopa, because this drug can make you dizzy  or drowsy.
  • Check with your doctor regularly while undergoing treatment with levodopa so that the effectiveness and response of therapy can be monitored properly.
  • Do not consume alcoholic beverages  while undergoing treatment with levodopa, because it can increase the risk of side effects.
  • Immediately see a doctor if you have an allergic drug reaction, serious side effects, or an overdose after taking levodopa.

Dosage and Rules for Using Levodopa

Levodopa will be prescribed by a doctor. In general, the following is an explanation for the dosage of levodopa according to the purpose and age of the patient:

Purpose:  Treating Parkinson's disease

  • Adult:  Initially 125 mg twice daily. Dosage may be increased every 3–7 days. The maximum dose is 8,000 mg per day divided into several doses.

Purpose:  To treat Parkinson's disease when the drug is combined with carbidopa

  • Adult:  Initial dose of levodopa 100 mg, 3 times daily. Dosage may be increased by 50 mg or 100 mg, every 1 or 2 days. Maintenance dose of 750–2,000 mg of levodopa per day.

Purpose:  To treat Parkinson's disease when combined with benserazide

  • Adult:  Initial dose of 50 mg, 3–4 times daily. Dosage can be increased every 1-2 times a week. Maintenance dose 400–800 mg per day.
  • Elderly:  Initial dose of 50 mg, 1–2 times

How to Take Levodopa Properly

Always read the instructions on the drug packaging and follow your doctor 's advice  when taking levodopa. Do not add or reduce your dose without your doctor's permission.

At the beginning of treatment, levodopa should be taken with food to reduce the risk of stomach upset. If you are used to levodopa, take the drug on an empty stomach to make it more effective. Make sure there is sufficient time between one dose and the next.

If you forget to take levodopa, consume it immediately if the schedule for the next dose is not too close. If it is close, skip the dose and do not double the next dose.

Do not increase or decrease the duration of treatment without consulting a doctor first.

While on treatment with levodopa, limit or avoid consumption of egg yolks, bananas, peanuts, lima beans, or whole grain cereals, because they can decrease the absorption of this drug.

Store the medicine in its packaging in a dry and cool place. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight and keep drugs out of reach of children.

Levodopa Interactions with Other Drugs

Some of the interaction effects that can be caused by levodopa if taken together with other drugs are:

  • Increased risk of developing hypertensive crisis when used with nonselective  MAOIs , such as hydrazine, isocarboxazid, hydracarbazine, or phenelzine
  • Increased risk of recurrence of Parkinson's disease symptoms when taken with metoclopramide  or other anticholinergic drugs
  • Decrease in blood pressure if taken with antihypertensive drugs
  • Decreased effectiveness of levodopa when taken with vitamin B6 , phenothiazine, thioxanthene, isoniazid , reserpine, papaverine, pyridoxine , phenytoin, antipsychotics , or trihexyphenidyl
  • Increased risk of damage to the nervous system when used with methyldopa
  • Increased risk of arrhythmias  when used with halothane or cyclopropane

Levodopa Side Effects and Dangers

Levodopa can make sweat, saliva, and urine darker than normal. This drug can also cause the tongue to burn or taste bitter.

Apart from that, other side effects that can occur after consuming levodopa are:

  • Dizzy
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping or even drowsy
  • Nightmare
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth

Check with your doctor if the complaints and side effects above don't go away or get worse. You should see a doctor immediately if you experience an allergic drug reaction  or more serious side effects, such as:

  • Recurrence or worsening of movement disorders
  • Twitching or the appearance of uncontrollable movements in the face
  • Faint
  • Blurred vision
  •  Severe stomach pain
  • Severe emotional disturbances, such as constant sadness to the point of having thoughts of suicide  or self-harm
  • Hallucinations
  • Chest pain, fast heart rate , or irregular heartbeat
  • Easy bruising
  • Tingling  or numbness
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