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Side Effects of Carbidopa

Side effects may not occur with carbidopa. However, the drug is always used with levodopa, another medication that is likely to cause side effects. Nausea, vomiting, and indigestion are some of the bothersome but usually not dangerous side effects of carbidopa (in combination with levodopa). Rare but potentially serious carbidopa side effects that require immediate medical attention include intestinal ulcers, seizures, and psychiatric problems.

Side Effects of Carbidopa: An Overview

Carbidopa (Lodosyn®) does not cause significant side effects when used alone. However, it is always used in combination with levodopa products (such as Sinemet®, Sinemet® CR, Parcopa®, or Stalevo®). The combination of carbidopa with levodopa (as well as levodopa alone) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the drugs will experience side effects. Many people tolerate them relatively well, at least initially. If side effects do occur, they are often minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. However, many people will begin to experience significant and sometimes intolerable side effects after several years of use.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with carbidopa. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of side effects with you.)

Bothersome Carbidopa Side Effects

Although carbidopa in combination with levodopa can cause some serious side effects, many side effects are merely bothersome, usually not dangerous, and often require no treatment. Such side effects include:
  • Dry mouth, taste changes, or drooling
  • Shoulder, leg, or back pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Drowsiness or insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain), diarrhea, or constipation
  • General weakness or fatigue
  • Increased sweating or dark (red, brown, or black) saliva, sweat, or urine
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss, or weight gain
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Headaches
  • Increased sex drive (libido)
  • Hair loss
  • Gas or hiccups
  • Teeth grinding
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI, such as a bladder infection)
  • Cough
  • Flushing or hot flashes.
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