There are a few medial conditions that are more likely to show up when you become old. Some of these conditions are known to impair your motor functions. One such condition is Parkinson’s disease. Characteristic signs of this disorder include a drastic slowing down of your bodily movements, accompanied by stiffening of muscles. This degenerative condition is not curable and there are no known long term remedies. Most of the dosage plans aim to reduce the intensity of the symptoms. Carbidopa is a commonly administered drug to treat the signs of Parkinson’s disease. But, what are its side effects? It is a key thing to know more about the side effects it may trigger.
Onset of Parkinson’s disease is linked to your central nervous system. It is marked by a distinctive slowness of movements and a gradual yet steady deterioration of motor skills. This condition however takes a long while to become a full-fledged disorder. You can detect its likely incidence from signs such as drooling, tremors, twitching of muscles, etc. In most cases, walking difficulties due to loss of coordination is another distinctive symptom.
Parkinson’s disease is thought to be triggered by the death of brain cells – especially those in a region called substantia nigra. This region is located in the middle segment of your brain. As such cells directly influence motor functions, any damage or death of cells shows up as slow movements. However, a few alternative studies are fast exploring dysfunctional folding of proteins in the grey matter of brain.
Causes known to trigger incidence of Parkinson’s disease and drugs used for treatment
Among the various possible causes, caregivers consider genetic and environmental factors as two major reasons. Genetic factors: you are at an added level of risk if a relative or a parent has had this degenerative condition. Those who have a prior injury / injuries in their head are also likely to see an onset. Among environmental conditions, those who are living or working in areas where there is an excessive exposure of toxins or harmful chemicals (such as insecticides) are more likely to get this.
Medications are available and are widely prescribed to decrease the signs of this degenerative disorder. Medications administered include MAO-B inhibiting meds, dopamine agonists as well as drugs like levodopa and carbidopa; almost all of these drugs are known to lessen the effects of symptoms. Carbidopa is a popular drug and is mostly co-administered with levodopa: This combination is widely used by physicians to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s disease is closely linked to a fall in dopamine level. Dopamine is a brain substance which is used for transmitting signals from the brain to your central nervous system. The human body is capable of making its own supply of this essential neuro-transmitting chemical. However, due to extraneous reasons – such as erroneous folds of proteins or brain injuries, your body makes way too lower amount of dopamine. It is here a drug called levodopa is mainly used; this drug upon breakdown turns into dopamine once it reaches your brain. An optimal availability of this form of “dopamine” is necessary for motor functions to turn normal. This drug is known for its capabilities to arrest typical symptoms of degenerative ailments (such as Parkinson’s) and in general, brings your involuntary movements under a better level of control.
Carbidopa prevents the active ingredients of levodopa from being broken down at an over-optimal level. It is extremely important to keep the ingredients of levodopa retained at a significant level for it to be made into dopamine. As you may recall, improvement of your motor functions is directly related to the extent of availability of dopamine. Yet another advantage of carbidopa is its key ingredients can decrease the effect of adverse reactions of levodopa; some of these adverse side effects it can help reduce / mitigate include abdominal problems like indigestion, dyspepsia, feeling nauseated, vomiting, etc.
Side effects of carbidopa
Active ingredients of carbidopa may trigger a few undesired outcomes and adverse side effects. Most commonly experienced discomforts are: being dizzy or lightheaded, weird thoughts / dreams, signs of an infection such as fever, sore throat, common cold and a runny nose. If you notice a discolored discharge of mucus or phlegm, do not panic; this is considered a common side effect. Many of these adverse reactions may disappear as your body gets used to the key chemicals of carbidopa.
Those who have had prior spells of allergies or hypersensitivity to carbidopa (and / or levodopa) must inform their treating doctor of such problems. This drug is likely to cause a few allergic reactions in such people. These include acute level of dizziness, itchiness, swelling of lips or throat and a few respiratory problems; upon encountering one or more of these allergies, consult with your physician on a top priority basis.
Side effects among women who aim to become pregnant and those who are already pregnant
If you are planning to become pregnant, it is essential to tell your treating doctor / pharmacist of your pregnancy plans. Your doctor may advise the use of a birth control method or a non-hormonal contraceptive while taking carbidopa. Among the various types of methods available, you may try vaginal rings, skin patches and other measures of the same non-hormonal genre. On the other hand, if you are already pregnant – you are advised to keep away from this drug during the course of your pregnancy. This safety measure is highly recommended as studies done on the impact of this drug on fetal wellbeing are not conclusive.
Women who are nursing a new born baby or breastfeeding must keep off this medication. This is due to the likely risk of the key chemicals passing through mother’s milk. Babies who are fed with such milk may develop sleeping disorders, feeding difficulties, and may turn restless most of the time. Owing to such risks, breastfeeding women are advised to share the list of all drugs they are taking now, prior to taking doses of carbidopa. As they share the details, care to add over the counter medications, prescription drugs, supplements, dietary aids as well as herbal meds. You are advised to take special care while taking iron based supplements or multivitamin tablets; this is because of the likely malabsorption of this drug when taken with such supplements. Hence, those living with a lesser count of red cells in blood must take supplements only after an interval of a few hours in between doses.
Side effects caused by a sudden stop of carbidopa
It is harmful to stop taking this drug in an abrupt fashion. A sudden discontinuation can lead to a relapse of the signs of Parkinson’s disease. In order to counter a possible relapse, dosages are always tapered to a minimal level before bringing them to a complete stop. Slow and steady decrease of the strength of doses is known to avert possible adverse reactions. A gradual reduction can also prevent the incidence of other serious conditions such as neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). If you sense any of the following adverse reactions – namely, acute stiffening of muscles, signs of an infection, respiratory problems, etc., talk to your doctor without any delay.
If you encounter one or more of these symptoms, it becomes essential to take needful clinical support on an emergency basis. Those who live on a Canadian province may call a poison control cell operating closer to your home or reach out to Health Canada. Users who are residents of the US are advised to call the helpdesk of food and drug administration (FDA) or reach out to 911. The FDA has its own helpdesk to gather inputs on adverse reactions drugs it approves trigger. Hence, those who report of adverse reactions are offered timely clinical support by this federal drug clearing agency.
Users are advised to report of their prior ailments to their treating doctor and / or pharmacist. Those who live with hepatic conditions (like inflammation / swelling of liver or cirrhosis of the liver), chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases / respiratory disorders (such as bronchitis, bronchial asthma and asthma showing up as panting), heart disorders (including faster heartbeats or quickened rate of pulse), kidney problems like decreased output of urine or painful spells of urination, ulcers or internal bruising / bleeding, ulcer formation, mental health conditions like staying depressed at most of the times, or living with conditions such as bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, anxieties, phobias, etc. should update their physician about such ailments before starting to take carbidopa.
In general, it is a safe practice to administer carbidopa at the same time every day. If you have missed a slot, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. But, never take a missed dose if your next dose is already coming up close. In such instances, skip the dose you missed and move ahead with the next dosage. Some users – especially those with an acute spell of degeneration of the central nervous system (CNS), may experience a wear-off of the earlier dose well ahead of their next dose. In all such cases, it is helpful to consult with your doctor / pharmacist to make needful alterations to your dosage strength and treatment plan.