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What Is Carbidopa-Levodopa-Entacapone Used For?

How Does Carbidopa-Levodopa-Entacapone Work?

Dopamine deficiency, caused by a loss of dopamine-producing cells in certain parts of the brain, may be responsible for many of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Although it would make sense to give dopamine to help treat Parkinson's, this does not work, since dopamine cannot cross the blood-brain barrier.
 
As the name implies, carbidopa-levodopa-entacapone contains the following three medications:
 
  • Levodopa -- Levodopa is a precursor of dopamine, which means that the body can use it to make dopamine. Unlike dopamine, levodopa crosses the blood-brain barrier.
     
  • Carbidopa -- Carbidopa delays the conversion of levodopa into dopamine until it reaches the brain, preventing or diminishing some of the side effects that often accompany levodopa therapy. Carbidopa also reduces the amount of levodopa needed for Parkinson's disease treatment.
     
  • Entacapone -- Entacapone inhibits an enzyme (catechol-O-methyltransferase or COMT) that breaks down levodopa before it has a chance to reach the brain. Entacapone increases the level of levodopa in the body and helps it to work longer.
     
Levodopa is the "real" medication in carbidopa-levodopa-entacapone that treats Parkinson's disease. The other two medications help levodopa work better and longer.
 

Is Carbidopa-Levodopa-Entacapone Used in Children?

Carbidopa-levodopa-entacapone is not approved for use in children. Discuss the potential risks and benefits of the drug with your child's healthcare provider.
 

Is Carbidopa-Levodopa-Entacapone Used for Off-Label Reasons?

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend carbidopa-levodopa-entacapone for something other than the conditions discussed in this article. At this time, however, there are no universally accepted off-label carbidopa-levodopa-entacapone uses.
 
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Carbidopa-Levodopa-Entacapone Info

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