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Carbidopa is a medication that is usually prescribed in combination with levodopa products to treat Parkinson's disease and Parkinson-like symptoms due to various other causes. When used alone, the drug has no activity against Parkinson's disease. The drug, which comes in the form of tablets, helps to prevent side effects that often accompany levodopa therapy, such as nausea and vomiting.

What Is Carbidopa?

Carbidopa (Lodosyn®) is a prescription medication used to treat Parkinson's disease. It is also approved to treat parkinsonism (Parkinson-like symptoms) due to:
  • Encephalitis (inflammation or infection of the brain)
  • Manganese poisoning
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning.


Carbidopa is always used in combination with levodopa products (Sinemet®, Sinemet® CR, Parcopa®, or Stalevo®), as it does not have any activity for treating Parkinson's disease when used without levodopa.

(Click What Is Carbidopa Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

When used by itself, carbidopa does not appear to cause side effects. However, carbidopa is never used without levodopa (since it has no action to treat Parkinson's disease without levodopa).
Common side effects of carbidopa (when combined with levodopa) include but are not limited to:
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Involuntary movements.
(Click Side Effects of Carbidopa to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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