Carbid

Carbid is a enteral suspension designed to treat the effects of Parkinson's disease and help sufferers regain some of their normal bodily functions.

Overview

Carbidopa and levodopa, known as carbid, is a useful drug for Parkinson's disease sufferers who are experiencing motor fluctuations. It comes as an enteral suspension, which means it is administered via the gastrointestinal tract.

People who suffer from Parkinson's disease often have trouble performing basic functions, such as using utensils and getting dressed, and this can often be because of low levels of dopamine in the brain. Levodopa works by replacing some of the missing dopamine, helping patients to achieve more independence and a better quality of life. Levodopa belongs to a group of medications known as central nervous system agents, while carbidova belongs to a group called decarboxylase inhibitors.

The medication is only available with a prescription from your physician. In the US, it has the brand name Duopa, which means you may see it referred to in this way in pharmacies and stores.

Condition(s) treated

  • Parkinson's disease

Type of medicine

  • Central nervous system agents (levodopa)
  • Decarboxylase inhibitors (carbidova)

Side effects

As with most medications, taking carbid can cause a number of additional symptoms, as well as relief from the symptoms of your condition. These extra symptoms are known as side effects.

The side effects of taking carbid can largely be split into two different categories. The first category includes those side effects which are more serious, and which require urgent medical attention. In the event that you experience any of these side effects, you should speak to your physician right away. If they are not available, you should attend the emergency room as soon as possible. You or someone who is with you should tell the staff on duty that you are taking carbid.

Some side effects in this category are more common, meaning you're more likely to experience them. Side effects which fall into this category include problems like chills, dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded after rising from sitting down, blurred vision, sensations of confusion or feeling empty, headaches and loss of appetite. Other side effects in this category include feelings of discouragement, feeling irritable or nervous, a pounding sound in the ears, fast gaining of weight, a sense of pressure in the stomach, difficulty concentrating or falling asleep and more.

In addition, some side effects are still serious but are less common, rare or have an incidence which is not currently known. Side effects that belong in this category include a wide range of symptoms, such as a painful or burning sensation, dry mouth, severe confusion about location or time, an unusually irregular heartbeat, hyperventilating, a sensation of restlessness and more.

Other side effects which fall into this category include bad constipation, difficulty catching your breath, lots of vomiting, the shakes, unusual behaviour and changes to your mood. Moreover, symptoms such as blindness, convulsions, chest pain, loss of control over your bladder, pain in the eye and more can all be considered serious side effects.

Furthermore, the presence of a mole on your skin that was not previously there can be a serious side effect of this medication. In addition, if the shape of a pre-existing mole changes, or it begins to bleed, this can also be a serious side effect.

The second category of side effects includes those that do not necessarily require emergency medical treatment. In the event that you experience any of these symptoms, you should only consult your physician if the symptoms persist or if you find that they are causing you lots of problems.

Some side effects in this category again include symptoms which are classed as more common. These include problems swallowing, coughing, aches and pains in the body, congestion in the ear or nasal passages, losing your voice and heartburn. Other problems in this category include a runny nose, a sore throat, sneezing and more.

Some less serious side effects are known to be less common, and, therefore, there is a lower likelihood that you will experience them. Side effects in this category include belching, heartburn, diarrhea, acid in the stomach, rashes on the skin, indigestion and feeling unusually sleepy.

Your experience of side effects will not always be the same as the experience of another patient, as this can differ from person to person.

Remember, these lists are non-exhaustive. In order to ascertain the full lists of side effects, you should consult the packaging which comes with your medication or speak to your physician or healthcare professional to find out more. They may also be able to advise on methods of mitigating the worst of the side effects, and put your mind at ease.

Dosage

When it comes to an exact dosage for this medicine, you should always follow the instructions given to you by your physician. They will be responsible for determining the exact dosage of this medication that you will need to take. Although standard dosages do exist, these are for information purposes only and the instructions of your physician should always take priority.

The standard cap for those taking this medication in enteral dosage form (or suspension) for Parkinson's disease is usually around 2000 milligrams (mg) of levodopa, which is equal to one cassette, taken over a 16 hour period. The precise dosage up to and including this 2000 mg cap figure is determined by a physician. For children, the standard dose is determined entirely by a physician.

This medication is given via a cassette, a miniature plastic container. It is transferred from the cassette to your body via a tube known as a PEG-J, and a pump - that you can carry around with you - moves the medication into you over a 16 hour period.

In order to allow the medication to access your body, a physician will need to perform a procedure to make a small hole in your stomach and abdomen area. This procedure will allow the tube to go into your body and pump the medication through. For this reason, you should always alert your physician to any stomach surgery or illnesses you may have had in the past.

In some cases, this medication may instead be transferred into your body via your nose. The tube used in this eventuality is known as a naso-jejunal tube.

If this sounds complex, don't worry. Your physician will demonstrate how to use the tube, the pump and the cassette before you begin using it yourself, and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

As a precaution, it is a good idea to keep some carbidopa-levodopa tablets handy alongside your main medication. These should be immediate release tablets. The idea behind doing this is that you may not always be able to access your infusion, and the tablets will help mitigate any problems in that event. You may also be required to have these tablets at night once your main dose is over.

Compared to some other medications you may have come across before, the instructions for what to do in the event that you miss a dose of carbid are relatively unusual. Rather than using the time elapsed since your last dosage and the time remaining until your next one to make your decision about whether to take a forgotten dose or not, you need to contact your physician or your pharmacist right away to find out what to do. This is because it is necessary to take carbid according to a fixed plan.

Interactions

This medication, like many medications, has the potential to interact with other drugs in the body. There are many drugs which have the potential to interact with carbid, and, for that reason, you should provide an accurate, up to date and honest list of all medications you are taking to your physician. This will enable them to make a decision about your consumption of this medication, as well as the configuration of your other medications, too.

This list should not only include any prescription medications you are currently taking, but should also include any over the counter medications you currently take.

The groups of medications with which carbid can interact can broadly be split into three categories.

The first of these categories contains those drugs with which carbid can interact in a major fashion. There are only a small number of drugs in this category, including darcalma (composed of methenamine, hyoscyamine, phenyl salicylate and methylene blue), methylphen (composed of hyoscyamine, benzoic acid, methylene blue, methenamine and phenyl salicylate) and several drugs in the Uro family, such as Uro-L (composed of sodium biphosphate, hyoscyamine, phenyl salicylate , methenamine and methylene blue), Uro-MP and more.

This group also includes a number of well-known drugs, such as aspirin with caffeine and propoxyphene. Again, you should ensure your physician has an up to date and accurate list of your current medication, both prescription and otherwise.

The second category of drugs that can interact with carbid are those that can interact on a moderate level. There are lots of drugs in this category, meaning it is important for your physician to have full knowledge of your current medical status. Drugs in this category include some multivitamins, such as Airborne Everyday Gummies and Airborne Kids Gummies, AquADEKs, Complete Formulation Chewables and more. Other drugs in this category include diovan (valsartan), Pamine FQ (composed of methscopolamine and lactobacillus acidophilus), valrelease (diazepam), Timolide 10-25 (composed of timolol and hydrochlorothiazide), ScopoHist (made up of methscopolamine, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine) and more.

The final category of drugs that can interact with carbid are those that only have minor effects. In this category, there are again a number of drugs that you may have stored in your medicine cupboard, including Aspirin Buffered (composed of aspirin, aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide and calcium carbonate), Rolaids Ultra Strength Softchews (made up of magnesium hydroxide and calcium carbonate) and more.

Finally, there are also some foodstuffs and drinks which have the potential to interact with carbid. These include high protein foodstuffs and alcohol. If you have any concerns about this or require further information on how to manage any dietary or consumption changes you may need to make, you should speak to your physician.

Remember, these lists are not necessarily exhaustive. The only way to prevent or successfully manage problems is to provide accurate information to your physician.

Warnings

As with any medication, carbid comes with a number of warnings designed to help prevent problems as you are taking it. These warnings are often contained in the medication guide booklet, which usually comes inside your medication's packaging. You should read this guide thoroughly: even though it may be that not all of the relevant warnings apply to you, reading it carefully is the only way to avoid missing a relevant one. You should also retain this booklet for the entire duration of your course of carbid and also for a period afterwards, as you may need to refer back to it.

It is important to avoid consuming high protein diets while taking this medication. This is because the body's response to carbidopa and levodopa can change based on how much protein you consume. You should continue to eat normal amounts of protein, but you should make the effort to space these out over the course of the day. In the event that your physician advises you otherwise regarding the consumption of protein, you should follow their instructions.

In the event that you are taking multivitamins, you should speak to your physician first. This is because vitamins, including multivitamins, contain what are known as iron salts. These can prohibit your carbid from working correctly.

You should not drive or carry out any activity that requires a high level of alertness while taking this medication until you are certain how it affects you. This is because your medication can lead to sensations such as dizziness.

Storage

Compared to some other medications, this medication has unusual storage requirements that require you to take extra care. For this reason, you should familiarise yourself with the process before beginning treatment, and you should speak to your physician if you have any questions whatsoever.

This medication comes in what is known as a cassette, which is another word for a small carton made out of plastic. The medication needs to be stored inside a refrigerator, and should be kept inside the carton until it is time to be used. Once the cassette is removed from the fridge, it needs to be used within 16 hours.

You should ensure that you do not freeze this medication, so take extra care with storage if you have an integrated fridge and freezer. You should also ensure that you protect the cassette containing your medication from sources of light.

As with all medications, you should take care when storing your carbid, in order to ensure that it does not fall into the wrong hands, cause harm, or malfunction before you take it.

You should ensure that this medication is stored out of the reach of children at all times. This will help to prevent accidental consumption. Even if you do not have children living in your house, you should still do this in case any children come to visit at a later date and you do not remember to move the medication.

Finally, while you should never stop taking your carbid medication without the authorisation of a physician, in the event that you do have any left over medication for any reason, you should dispose of it in the correct way. If you are unsure how to go about doing this, you should speak to a healthcare professional to find out more.

Summary

Carbid is a useful drug for patients who suffer from Parkinson's disease. By topping up low levels of dopamine in the brain, carbid helps patients to regain the ability to carry out basic functions on their own. The drug has the brand name Duopa, and is only available with a prescription from a physician.

As with many drugs, carbid comes with a wide range of potential side effects, which can vary from patient to patient. These include more serious side effects, such as new moles on the skin, bad constipation, hyperventilating and more. If you experience any of these side effects, you should consult your physician or other medical professional right away. Less serious potential side effects include problems swallowing, aches and pains and heartburn. In the event that you experience these side effects, you should give them time to go away on their own. If they persist or are causing you extensive problems, you should consult your physician.

The dosage for this medication varies and will be determined for you by your physician. This medication is stored in a cassette, which must be refrigerated before use, and is delivered directly into your stomach using a tube. You will need a small surgical procedure in order to create a hole for this tube to go through. Your physician will demonstrate how to take this medicine, and if you have any questions you should ask them at this stage. In the event that you miss a dose of carbid, you should consult your physician or pharmacist in order to find out what to do.

You should always store your carbid in the fridge, and once the cassette containing the medication has been taken out of the fridge, it should be used within 16 hours. Keep this medication out of the reach of children, and, if you have any leftover medication, you should dispose of it in an appropriate manner. If you are unsure how to go about doing this, you should consult a medical professional.

As with many medications, carbid can cause interactions with other drugs. For that reason, you should always provide your physician with an up to date list of the drugs you are currently taking.

This medication comes with a number of warnings, which should be contained on the information leaflet which comes with it. You should consult this booklet before taking this medication, and retain it for future reference.