What is Stalevo 50 (Carbidopa/Levodopa/Entacapone) prescribed for?
Parkinson’s disease affects the nerve cells in the brain the produce dopamine. Many of the symptoms can include muscle rigidity, tremors, and changes in speed and gait. Dopamine has an important job to do. It acts like a messenger that tells another area of your brain when you want to move a part of your body. However when too little of dopamine is produced it is then it is believed that Parkinson’s disease develops.
This is a combination medication of three different drugs: Carbidopa, Levodopa, and Entacapone. And it is used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Levodopa changes into dopamine in the brain, helping to control movement. Carbidopa and entacapone prevent the breakdown of levodopa in the bloodstream so more levodopa can enter the brain. Carbidopa can also reduce some of levodopa's side effects such as nausea and vomiting.
This medication is taken by mouth with or without food. And it is usually taken 3 to 4 times a day. Take only one tablet for each dose. Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush, chew, or split the tablet. Doing so may cause you to have the wrong dose and also stain your mouth, dentures, and saliva.
You may take this medication with food if it helps you to decrease nausea. If you decide to do so, then it is best to avoid a high protein diet during treatment. Also avoid taking this medication with a high fat. Or high calorie meal since this can slow down the time it begins to work by 2 hours.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it.
Separate your dose of this medication by as many hours as possible from any iron supplements or products containing iron (such as multivitamins with minerals) you may take. Iron can reduce the amount of this medication absorbed by the body.
Before taking this medication, it is best to advise your doctor if you are allergic to Carbidopa, Levodopa, or Entacapone; or to any other medications or allergies in general. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.
You should also let your doctor know of all of your medical history. Especially if you have ever dealt with any of these experiences in the past; liver disease, glaucoma, breathing problems (such as asthma), heart disease (such as heart attack, irregular heartbeat), kidney disease, stomach/intestinal ulcer, mental/mood disorders (such as depression, schizophrenia), blood disorders, seizures, sleep disorders.
While minor, some of these side effects may occur. They are as follows; Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, and stomach upset, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, headache, or dry mouth may occur. However if any of these persist or worsen, it’s best to speak with your doctor right away.
This medication may cause saliva, urine, or sweat to turn a dark color. This effect is harmless, but your clothes may be stained.
Some people taking this medication have fallen asleep suddenly during their usual daily activities (such as talking on the phone, driving). In some cases, sleep occurred without any feelings of drowsiness beforehand. This sleep effect may occur anytime during treatment with this medication even if you have used this medication for a long time. If you experience increased sleepiness or fall asleep during the day, do not drive or do other possibly dangerous activities until you have discussed this effect with your doctor. Your risk of this sleep effect is increased by using alcohol or other medications that can make you drowsy. See also Precautions section.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: new/worsening movements you can't control/spasms, greatly increased eye blinking/twitching, fainting, diarrhea that doesn't stop, vision changes (such as blurred vision), eye pain, severe stomach/abdominal pain, black/tarry stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, muscle pain/tenderness/weakness, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine), mental/mood changes (such as confusion, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide), signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away), easy bleeding/bruising, unusual tiredness, tingling of the hands/feet, unusual strong urges (such as increased gambling, increased sexual urges).
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: chest pain.
Suddenly stopping or reducing the dose of this medication may rarely cause a very serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Get medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, unusual muscle stiffness, severe confusion, sweating, fast/irregular heartbeat, rapid breathing
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?
There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.
What is the best dosage to take?
The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.
What happens if I miss a dose?
You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.
What is the best way to store this medication?
This medication is stored at room temperature, and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.