If you or a family member is dealing with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and the medication seems to be less effective than when you first started taking it, talk to your doctor about Stalevo or generic Carbidopa/Levodopa/Entacapone. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
Usually, the first medication prescribed is Levodopa and Carbidopa together as one pill. The next step to managing your symptoms as the disease progresses could be Stalevo, which contains the first 2 drugs plus Entacapone. Stalevo provides you with relief so you can function relatively normal throughout your day but it is not a cure for Parkinson’s.
Levodopa works to increase the level of a brain chemical called dopamine because the disease has destroyed the nerve cells that produce it. In order to be effective, Levodopa acts inside your brain where it converts into dopamine. Carbidopa’s job is to make sure Levodopa gets to its target before any conversion takes place outside the brain where it will not produce any benefit to you.
As time moves along, you may find that some of your symptoms are returning. This is where Stalevo steps in with its 3rd active ingredient, Entacapone. This drug acts to inhibit the catechol-O-methyl transferase enzymes that can break down Levodopa before it can start to help you. Stalevo can reduce the ‘wearing off’ effect for those that are taking Levodopa or Levodopa with Carbidopa.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a degenerative disorder that affects your central nervous system as the neurons in an area of your brain deteriorate. This mostly affects your motor system which is the reason for shaking, rigidity, slow movements, and walking with difficulty. Dopamine controls your movements so you can move easily and steadily. As your dopamine levels fall, the symptoms appear.
There are no tests to diagnose PD, your doctor will conduct a thorough neurological exam and take your medical history and look for signs of a ‘resting’ tremor, rigidity of your body, and slow movements. You may start taking a drug for PD with close monitoring from your doctor to see if there are improvements, or possibly hold off for awhile until the symptoms are interfering with your daily life. PD is not fatal, but it may put you at risk for falls, for example, that can cause many injuries.
Tell your doctor about other medical conditions or allergies you have and list any current OTC or Rx drugs you take or use, including herbal remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements, to determine if Stalevo is right for you. Understand that Stalevo is not a cure for PD, but a 3 in 1 medication to help to continue with controlling your symptoms so you can function easier throughout your day.
Eating a high protein diet could cause a decrease in your body’s ability to absorb Stalevo so ask your doctor or nutritionist about what foods are best. Report at once to your doctor if you experience strange urges or you suddenly fall asleep a meal or a conversation. All meds should be stored out of children’s reach and never shared with anyone else.