At the beginning of the treatment Levodopa is usually well tolerated. Side effects are more the exception. However, this changes over the years: while the therapeutic effect decreases more and more, the side effects gradually increase.
Since levodopa is usually prescribed in combination with a decarboxylase inhibitor such as benserazide or carbidopa (to promote the drug to the brain), side effects may not necessarily be due to levodopa itself.
Relatively common side effects of levodopa supplements are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness, drowsiness
- Circulatory problems (fainting, but also tachycardia)
- movement disorders
- mental confusion, hallucinations, psychosis (rather at higher doses)
- Sleep disorders, nightmares (rather at higher doses)
Author: Dr. med. Jörg Zorn