Nervous System Home > Side Effects of Orally Disintegrating Carbidopa-Levodopa

Many people do not typically have any problems when they first start taking orally disintegrating carbidopa-levodopa. However, it is not uncommon for people to begin to experience significant side effects of orally disintegrating carbidopa-levodopa after using the medication for several years. Make sure you seek immediate medical attention if you experience hallucinations, irregular heart rhythms, or thoughts of suicide.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Orally Disintegrating Carbidopa-Levodopa

As with any medicine, orally disintegrating carbidopa-levodopa (Parcopa®) may cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience side effects. Many people tolerate it relatively well, at least initially. If side effects do occur, they are often minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider. However, many people will begin to experience significant and sometimes intolerable orally disintegrating carbidopa-levodopa side effects after several years of use.
 
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with orally disintegrating carbidopa-levodopa. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of orally disintegrating carbidopa-levodopa side effects with you.)
 

Serious Side Effects of Orally Disintegrating Carbidopa-Levodopa

Some side effects with orally disintegrating carbidopa-levodopa are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. Although most of these serious side effects are rare, a few may be common. Serious side effects of orally disintegrating carbidopa-levodopa include, but are not limited to:
 

 

    • Hallucinations
    • Delusions
    • Paranoia
    • Agitation
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors

 

  • Low blood pressure (hypotension) or high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Fainting
  • Symptoms of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), which may occur if orally disintegrating carbidopa-levodopa is stopped too abruptly, such as:

 

    • High fever
    • Stiff muscles
    • Confusion
    • Irregular pulse or blood pressure
    • Fast heart rate (tachycardia)
    • Sweating
    • Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias)

 

  • Bleeding in the digestive tract
  • Intestinal ulcers (known as duodenal ulcers)
  • Low white blood cells, red blood cells, or blood platelets
  • Seizures
  • Heart attack
  • Painful penile erection that does not go away (known as priapism)
  • Falling or balance problems
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, including:

 

    • Unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the mouth or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing.

 

Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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