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NZ Formulary

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Levodopa and benserazide

lee-voe-doe-pa and ben-seer-ah-zide

What does it do?

Levodopa and benserazide is used to treat Parkinson’s disease, and sometimes other conditions. Levodopa changes into dopamine in your body. Benserazide helps get more levodopa into your brain.

How should you take it?

Take levodopa and benserazide regularly as directed with a glass of water.
Swallow the capsules whole.
You can either swallow the tablets whole, or dissolve them in a glass of water before taking.

What if you forget a dose?

If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with levodopa and benserazide including:

  • iron supplements (e.g. Ferro-Tab®)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. kava) or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Fast or irregular heartbeat, chest pain

Tell your doctor immediately

Strange or uncontrolled movements, loss of co-ordination

Hallucinations, confusion, anxiety, mood changes

Unusual urges (e.g. gambling, eating, spending, sex)

Falling asleep without warning

Tell your doctor

Drowsiness

Tell your doctor if troublesome

Lightheaded or dizzy after standing up

Stand up slowly. If it continues, or is severe, tell your doctor

Change in colour of urine, sweat or saliva (red/brown)

This is harmless

Nausea, vomiting

Take with a snack such as a cracker or biscuit

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have heart, lung, or mental health problems, if you have ever had a stomach ulcer, or if you have glaucoma.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Levodopa and benserazide can impair your ability to do tasks such as driving or using machines. Alcohol makes this worse. Discuss your risk with your health professional. (search NZTA - Are you safe to drive?)
  • Eating a lot of protein may affect how well levodopa and benserazide works for you. Talk to your health professional about the best way for you to take levodopa and benserazide in relation to food.
  • Do not stop taking levodopa and benserazide suddenly without talking to your doctor first. Your doctor may reduce the dose gradually.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. January 2020

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed