"The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an extended-release capsule formulation of carbidopa-levodopa (Rytary, IPX066, Impax Pharmaceuticals) for the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD), postencephalitic parkinsonism, an"...
LODOSYN (Carbidopa) has no antiparkinsonian effect when given alone. It is indicated for use with carbidopa-levodopa or levodopa. LODOSYN (Carbidopa) does not decrease adverse reactions due to central effects of levodopa.
When LODOSYN (Carbidopa) is to be given to carbidopa-naive patients who are being treated with levodopa alone, the two drugs should be given at the same time.
At least twelve hours should elapse between the last dose of levodopa and initiation of therapy with LODOSYN (Carbidopa) and levodopa in combination. Start with no more than one-fifth (20%) to one-fourth (25%) of the previous daily dosage of levodopa when given without LODOSYN (Carbidopa). See the DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION section before initiating therapy.
The addition of LODOSYN with levodopa or carbidopa-levodopa reduces the peripheral effects (nausea, vomiting) due to decarboxylation of levodopa; however, LODOSYN does not decrease the adverse reactions due to the central effects of levodopa. Because LODOSYN permits more levodopa to reach the brain and more dopamine to be formed, certain adverse central nervous system (CNS) effects, e.g., dyskinesias (involuntary movements), may occur at lower dosages and sooner with levodopa in combination with LODOSYN than with levodopa alone.
Falling Asleep During Activities Of Daily Living And Somnolence
Patients taking carbidopa-levodopa products alone or with other dopaminergic drugs have reported suddenly falling asleep without prior warning of sleepiness while engaged in activities of daily living (includes operation of motor vehicles). Some of these episodes resulted in automobile accidents. Although many of these patients reported somnolence while on dopaminergic medications, some did perceive that they had no warning signs, such as excessive drowsiness, and believed that they were alert immediately prior to the event. Some patients reported these events one year after the initiation of treatment.
Falling asleep while engaged in activities of daily living usually occurs in patients experiencing pre-existing somnolence, although some patients may not give such a history. For this reason, prescribers should continually reassess patients for drowsiness or sleepiness especially since some of the events occur after the start of treatment. Prescribers should be aware that patients may not acknowledge drowsiness or sleepiness until directly questioned about drowsiness or sleepiness during specific activities. Patients who have already experienced somnolence or an episode of sudden sleep onset should not participate in these activities during treatment with LODOSYN when taking it with other carbidopa-levodopa products.
Before initiating treatment with LODOSYN, advise patients about the potential to develop drowsiness and ask specifically about factors that may increase the risk for somnolence with LODOSYN such as the use of concomitant sedating medications and the presence of sleep disorders. Consider discontinuing LODOSYN in patients who report significant daytime sleepiness or episodes of falling asleep during activities that require active participation (e.g., conversations, eating, etc.). If treatment with LODOSYN continues, patients should be advised not to drive and to avoid other potentially dangerous activities that might result in harm if the patients become somnolent. There is insufficient information to establish that dose reduction will eliminate episodes of falling asleep while engaged in activities of daily living.
Hyperpyrexia And Confusion
Sporadic cases of a symptom complex resembling neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) have been reported in association with dose reductions or withdrawal of certain antiparkinsonian agents such as levodopa, carbidopa-levodopa, or carbidopa-levodopa extended-release. Therefore, patients should be observed carefully when the dosage of levodopa or carbidopalevodopa is reduced abruptly or discontinued, especially if the patient is receiving neuroleptics.
NMS is an uncommon but life-threatening syndrome characterized by fever or hyperthermia. Neurological findings, including muscle rigidity, involuntary movements, altered consciousness, mental status changes; other disturbances, such as autonomic dysfunction, tachycardia, tachypnea, sweating, hyper-or hypotension; laboratory findings, such as creatine phosphokinase elevation, leukocytosis, myoglobinuria, and increased serum myoglobin, have been reported.
The early diagnosis of this condition is important for the appropriate management of these patients. Considering NMS as a possible diagnosis and ruling out other acute illnesses (e.g., pneumonia, systemic infection, etc.) is essential. This may be especially complex if the clinical presentation includes both serious medical illness and untreated or inadequately treated extrapyramidal signs and symptoms (EPS). Other important considerations in the differential diagnosis include central anticholinergic toxicity, heat stroke, drug fever, and primary central nervous system (CNS) pathology.
The management of NMS should include: 1) intensive symptomatic treatment and medical monitoring and 2) treatment of any concomitant serious medical problems for which specific treatments are available. Dopamine agonists, such as bromocriptine, and muscle relaxants, such as dantrolene, are often used in the treatment of NMS; however, their effectiveness has not been demonstrated in controlled studies.
As with levodopa alone, periodic evaluations of hepatic, hematopoietic, cardiovascular, and renal function are recommended during extended concomitant therapy with LODOSYN and levodopa, or with LODOSYN and carbidopa-levodopa or any combination of these drugs.
Impulse Control/Compulsive Behaviors
Postmarketing reports suggest that patients treated with anti-Parkinson medications can experience intense urges to gamble, increased sexual urges, intense urges to spend money uncontrollably, binge eating, and other intense urges. Patients may be unable to control these urges while taking one or more of the medications that are used for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and that increase central dopaminergic tone, including Lodosyn taken with levodopa and carbidopa. In some cases, although not all, these urges were reported to have stopped when the dose of anti-Parkinson medications was reduced or discontinued. Because patients may not recognize these behaviors as abnormal it is important for prescribers to specifically ask patients or their caregivers about the development of new or increased gambling urges, sexual urges, uncontrolled spending or other urges while being treated with Lodosyn. Physicians should consider dose reduction or stopping Lodosyn or levodopa if a patient develops such urges while taking Lodosyn with carbidopa/levodopa.
Hallucinations and psychotic like behavior have been reported with dopaminergic medications. In general, hallucinations present shortly after the initiation of therapy and may be responsive to dose reduction in levodopa. Hallucinations may be accompanied by confusion and to a lesser extent sleep disorder (insomnia) and excessive dreaming. LODOSYN when taken with carbidopa-levodopa may have similar effects on thinking and behavior. This abnormal thinking and behavior may present with one or more symptoms, including paranoid ideation, delusions, hallucinations, confusion, psychotic-like behavior, disorientation, aggressive behavior, agitation, and delirium.
Ordinarily, patients with a major psychotic disorder should not be treated with LODOSYN and carbidopa-levodopa, because of the risk of exacerbating psychosis. In addition, certain medications used to treat psychosis may exacerbate the symptoms of Parkinson's disease and may decrease the effectiveness of LODOSYN.
LODOSYN (Carbidopa) may potentiate the dopaminergic side effects of levodopa and may cause or exacerbate preexisting dyskinesia.
Patients treated with LODOSYN and carbidopa-levodopa should be observed carefully for the development of depression with concomitant suicidal tendencies.
Epidemiological studies have shown that patients with Parkinson's disease have a higher risk (2to approximately 6-fold higher) of developing melanoma than the general population. Whether the observed increased risk was due to Parkinson's disease or other factors, such as drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease, is unclear.
For the reasons stated above, patients and providers are advised to monitor for melanomas frequently and on a regular basis when using LODOSYN tablets for Parkinson's disease.
Ideally, periodic skin examinations should be performed by appropriately qualified individuals (e.g., dermatologists).
Abnormalities in laboratory tests may include elevations of liver function tests such as alkaline phosphatase, SGOT (AST), SGPT (ALT), lactic dehydrogenase, and bilirubin. Abnormalities in blood urea nitrogen and positive Coombs test have also been reported. Commonly, levels of blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and uric acid are lower during concomitant administration of carbidopa and levodopa than with levodopa alone.
Levodopa and carbidopa-levodopa combination products may cause a false-positive reaction for urinary ketone bodies when a test tape is used for determination of ketonuria. This reaction will not be altered by boiling the urine specimen. False-negative tests may result with the use of glucose-oxidase methods of testing for glucosuria.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
There were no significant differences between treated and control rats with respect to mortality or neoplasia in a 96-week study of carbidopa at oral doses of 25, 45, or 135 mg/kg/day. Combinations of carbidopa and levodopa (10-20, 10-50, 10-100 mg/kg/day) were given orally to rats for 106 weeks. No effect on mortality or incidence and type of neoplasia was seen when compared to concurrent controls.
Mutagenicity studies have not been performed with either carbidopa or the combination of carbidopa and levodopa.
Carbidopa had no effect on the mating performance, fertility, or survival of the young when administered orally to rats at doses of 30, 60, or 120 mg/kg/day. The highest dose caused a moderate decrease in body weight gain in males.
The administration of carbidopa-levodopa at dose levels of 10-20, 10-50, or 10-100 mg/kg/day did not adversely affect the fertility of male or female rats, their reproductive performance, or the growth and survival of the young.
Pregnancy Category C
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies with LODOSYN in pregnant women. It has been reported from individual cases that levodopa crosses the human placental barrier, enters the fetus, and is metabolized. Carbidopa concentrations in fetal tissue appeared to be minimal. LODOSYN should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
Carbidopa, at doses as high as 120 mg/kg/day, was without teratogenic effects in the mouse or rabbit. In the rabbit, but not in the mouse, carbidopa-levodopa produced visceral anomalies, similar to those seen with levodopa alone, at approximately 7 times the maximum recommended human dose. The teratogenic effect of levodopa in rabbits was unchanged by the concomitant administration of carbidopa.
It is not known whether carbidopa is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, and because of their potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the nursing woman.
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established, and use of the drug in patients below the age of 18 is not recommended.
Clinical studies of LODOSYN did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and concomitant disease and other drug therapy.
Last reviewed on RxList: 3/10/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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