Causes for Parkinson’s disease remain largely unknown. However, a few recent studies show a deficit of dopamine as a likely cause for this degenerative condition. Another possible reason is impairment of cells present in the middle region of your brain; this region is labelled as substantia nigra. Any damage or death of such cells has a direct bearing on your motor skills and / or movements. Carbidopa is a commonly used medication for the treatment signs of this degenerative condition. What are the essential points one needs to be aware of to use it safely? It is a wise thing to get as much details as possible prior to commencing your dosage.

There are several types of degenerative diseases known to medical sciences. Of such conditions, Parkinson’s disease is one of the long term disorders. This condition is known to impair your motor function; this is mainly because of a likely link between bodily movements and the health of your central nervous system (CNS). This disorder may be quite slow with its onset. The initial signs are too feeble to define its onset; giddiness, stiffness of muscles and painful sensations while walking are some of the earliest symptoms. In some cases, tremors or involuntary shaking of limbs are observed either at the very early stage or at the mid stage of its onset. Also, it may take several years for the condition to become a full-fledged clinical condition.

Doctors who treat Parkinson’s do not deny the influences of environmental risk factors as well as hereditary aspects. Those who live in an environment that has high level of toxic chemicals are more likely to develop this disorder. Also, people who sustained a severe injury in their head are at added risk. The bad news is there is no known cure or remedy to this degenerative condition. However, those who drink tea or coffee as well as those who use tobacco based products are known to have significantly lesser level of risks.

A few types of medications are used to reduce the seriousness of this ailment. Meds like carbidopa, MAO-B inhibiting drugs as well as dopamine agonists are widely used for reducing the intensity of this condition and associated discomforts. Among such medications, carbidopa along with levodopa is widely used to reduce the typical signs of Parkinson’s disease.

Safe use of carbidopa for treating Parkinson’s disease

This drug is often administered along with levodopa for suppressing discomforts associated with Parkinson’s. This combination can minimise a few signs such as tremors / persistent spells of shaking involuntarily, difficulties to make movements as well as feeling stiffened. Carbidopa is seldom used as a stand-alone drug; this is because it is known to be more effective only when it is combined with levodopa. If it is used without a combinatorial form, the drug is of limited or little use for people living with degenerative ailments or an impaired motor function.

How does carbidopa work?

Very low level of dopamine – a key brain chemical which is known to transmit neuro signals – is closely associated with Parkinson’s. Your body makes needful amount of this chemical on its own. Owing to misplaced proteins in the brain or central nervous system, your system may make less of this essential neuro-transmitting substance. Levodopa – upon being processed – becomes dopamine inside your brain. Once “dopamine” is available at a needful level, your motor functions are eased and the typical signs associated with degenerative conditions are brought under control. So how does carbidopa work in this milieu? The key chemicals present in carbidopa prevent levodopa from being excessively processed; once the essential ingredients of levodopa are retained, more relatively a better share of the drug and its ingredients can get into your brain. As an extended benefit, key chemicals present in carbidopa help minimize the seriousness of side effects of levodopa (especially, abdominal conditions such as vomiting and nausea).

How to use this drug?

Your treating physician will tell you to take this drug either before or after meal. Your dosage plan is determined by the seriousness of your medical condition, how well your body takes the first few doses and also based on the presence of other CNS conditions, if any. Carbidopa needs to be necessarily taken along with levodopa; hence, you are advised to reduce the intake of protein in excessive levels. This precaution is essential as a high level of protein in your foods can reduce the availability of levodopa to your brain.

Those who have a lower count of blood cells – especially, red cells, must take iron supplements after a gap of several hours. This precaution holds good for the intake of supplements of multivitamins that may have abundant amounts of iron in them. You are advised to take carbidopa (along with levodopa) regularly. In order to get better results, it is important to take this drug at the same timeslot each day. Among patients with advanced level of degeneration, the effects of a dose may wear off even prior to the next dosage; in such cases, you may witness a sudden increase in muscular stiffness in between doses. In those instances, it is a safe practice to talk to your caregiving team for needful adjustment of dosages and also, the number of doses.

An abrupt stop of carbidopa –Is it safe?

It is unsafe to stop taking this drug all of a sudden; this is because of a likely relapse of the symptoms once the dosages are stopped abruptly. Owing to such risks, the doses of carbidopa are tapered over a period of time; such a gradual reduction of doses is essential to delay the recurrence of discomforts and other adverse side effects. Also, a sudden discontinuation of carbidopa can cause an acute disorder known as neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS); this is characterised by increase in body temperature, excessive stiffening of muscles as well as respiratory conditions such as quickened rate of breathing, wheezing or panting and being in a confused state of mind.

Upon sensing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical help on an urgent mode. If you are a resident of US, call 911 or a helpdesk of the food and drug administration (FDA). It is essential to know that FDA runs its own helplines to gather information about drugs it has approved for public use. Upon reporting adverse side effects, the helplines provide needful medical assistance in a timely manner. Those who are living in Canada can either call Health Canada or quickly rush to a poison control unit working nearer to where you live.

Safe intake of carbidopa – Essential pointers

If you have hypersensitivity or are allergic to carbidopa or levodopa, your caregiving team needs to know more about it. This drug seldom causes allergies or related discomforts. Upon sensing allergic reactions such as severe spells of drowsiness, rashes on skin, itchiness, inflammation of oral organs such as tongue, lips or gums, gasping for breath, etc., talk to your treating doctor immediately. It is a safe practice to rush to a healthcare setting on an emergency mode and take needful clinical assistance as swiftly as possible.

Prior medical conditions and safe intake of this drug

It is very important to keep your caregiving team well updated of your prior ailments, if any. Users who have ailments such as cardiac ailments (like erratic heartbeats or faster pulse rates), hepatic conditions (such as hepatitis or inflammation of the liver, cirrhosis, etc.) and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (bronchial asthma, asthma or bronchitis occurring as gasping or panting for breath) must tell their doctor of such conditions. As a related precaution, those who are living with renal conditions like reduced efficiency of the renal system (marked by a drop in discharge of urine or feeling acute pain while urinating), internal ulcerations, mental problems such as bipolar conditions, being depressed or schizophrenic must keep their caregiver informed of all such ailments.

Women who intend to get pregnant need to tell their physician of their plans. It is essential to use a non-hormonal contraceptive or a birth control measure while you ae taking drug. Key ingredients of this med can get into breastmilk; mothers who are breastfeeding are hence recommended to tell their physician about their medical condition before starting the treatment plan. In general, it is a safe practice to make a list of medical plans you are pursuing; this is needed prior to starting to take carbidopa. As you make such a listing, include over the counter (OTC) meds, prescription drugs, herbal formulations, supplements of minerals / vitamins as well as dietary aids in it.

In sum, carbidopa prevents levodopa from being broken down excessively and thus makes a healthy share of levodopa available for your brain. Owing to this carbidopa is never used as a stand-alone medication. Its key chemicals are known to work well when it is added along with levodopa. Those who used carbidopa alone saw very little improvement in the signs of degenerative ailments such as Parkinson’s. In order to obtain more details about this drug and its safe intake, it is highly recommended to talk to your caregiver and / or pharmacist.

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