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Levodopa (By breathing)

Levodopa (lee-voe-DOE-pa)

Treats symptoms of Parkinson's disease that have returned (OFF episodes).

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to levodopa.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • The capsules are for inhalation only and should be used with the inhaler. Do not swallow or open the capsule.
  • Do not use any capsule that looks crushed, damaged, or wet.
  • To use the inhaler:
    • Your hands should be clean and dry when using the inhaler and capsules.
    • Remove the blue cap of the inhaler. Twist off the white mouthpiece. Load 1 capsule into the capsule chamber of the inhaler. Do not load 2 capsules at the same time. Attach the mouthpiece until you hear a click.
    • Breathe out fully and try to get as much air out of your lungs as possible. Put the mouthpiece just in front of your mouth and breathe in (inhale) deeply. If you did not hear or feel the capsule "whirl" (spin) while inhaling, you may need to take a deeper, longer breath. If you cough or stop your dose, repeat the step using the same capsule.
    • Hold your breath for about 5 to 10 seconds, then breathe out slowly.
    • Twist and pull off the mouthpiece. Remove the used capsule, then load a second capsule into the inhaler. Repeat the same steps.
    • Remove the used capsule, then load a second capsule into the inhaler and breathe in. Do not load 2 capsules at the same time.
    • You may use a dry cotton swab or tissue to clean the mouthpiece.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Missed dose: This medicine is used when symptoms of an OFF period start to return.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not store the capsules inside the inhaler.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not use this medicine if you are using or have used an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) within the past 2 weeks.
  • Some medicines can affect how levodopa works. Tell your doctor if you are using isoniazid, metoclopramide, risperidone, butyrophenone medicine (including haloperidol), or a phenothiazine medicine (including chlorpromazine, perphenazine, prochlorperazine, promethazine, thioridazine).
  • Tell your doctor if you are using any mineral supplements or multivitamins with iron.
  • Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have lung disease (including asthma, COPD), glaucoma, a sleep disorder, or mental illness.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Unusual changes in thoughts or behavior, including gambling urges, binge or compulsive eating, compulsive shopping, or sexual urges
    • Dyskinesia (trouble controlling movements)
    • Increased risk of lung or breathing problems
    • Increased pressure in the eye
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy, or even cause you to fall asleep without warning. This could happen while you are driving, eating, or talking. Tell your doctor right away if this happens. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you. Stand or sit up slowly if you feel lightheaded or dizzy.
  • This medicine might cause your saliva, sweat, or urine to become dark in color. This is nothing to worry about, but it could stain your clothes.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Anxiety, irritability, nervousness, restlessness, trouble sleeping
  • Blurred vision or changes in vision, eye pain
  • Chest pain, trouble with breathing, cough
  • Compulsive behavior or intense urges you cannot control
  • Confusion, unusual behavior, mood changes, seeing or hearing things that are not there
  • Falling asleep in the middle of an activity
  • Jerky muscle movements that you cannot control (often in your face, tongue, or jaw)

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Drowsiness or sleepiness
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
  • Pink or red urine, dark sweat or saliva, or heavy sweating

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

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