What's the Deal with Carbidopa/Levadopa?
I said these words in front of a friend the other day and she said “did you just put a spell on me?” No, but medical words do sound like something out of a Harry Potter movie some days. So what is Carbidopa / Levodopa and what things should you be asking your doctor about it?
Levodopa is the pre-cursor to dopamine which is the neurotransmitter (messenger in your brain) that is lacking if you are living with Parkinson’s Disease. Carbidopa is it’s body guard, preventing enzymes from breaking it down before it reaches the brain to be absorbed and used. So if you are taking Carbidopa-Levodopa 25/100 that means you are receiving 25mg of Carbidopa to protect the 100 mg of Levodopa. They make a pretty good team.
So what considerations or questions should you have about your medications? First of all you should understand there is no one-size fits all and it may take some trial and error adjustments to find the perfect dosage for you. Also consider that Parkinson’s is a progressive disease so your initial dosage will not be your forever dosage. Other life events including changes in activity level or workout style, emotional stressors and other ailments may also require a change in medication dosage. If you experience a big life change or change in symptoms you should talk to your doctor about your medications. Dosage changes aren’t always permanent and they’re not always an increase. People have reported establishing a good exercise routine and needing MORE levodopa initially to account for the added physical stress but once they started feeling and moving better they required LESS levodopa!
Another consideration is diet / timing of your medication. Dietary protein can block the absorption of levodopa therefore timing your medication before or after meals especially meals that involve a larger quantity of protein can be very important for the effectiveness of your medications. If you are unsure about your protein intake (what are protein sources? How much protein do I need? etc.) contact a dietitian or any of your healthcare providers for more help on this.
If you don’t already have a strong support team and exercise plan to supplement your levodopa medications in the fight against Parkinson’s Disease contact us at Dedicated Therapy to schedule your free Discovery Visit today by calling (864) 203-3883.