Levodopa Side Effects
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Nov 27, 2020.
For the Consumer
Applies to levodopa: inhalation capsule
Side effects requiring immediate medical attention
Along with its needed effects, levodopa may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking levodopa:
- Body aches or pain
- difficulty in breathing
- ear congestion
- loss of voice
- sore throat
- stuffy or runny nose
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- Blurred vision
- chest pain or discomfort
- cough producing mucus
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- muscle aches
- tightness in the chest
- twitching, twisting, uncontrolled repetitive movements of the tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs
Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention
Some side effects of levodopa may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.
Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Discolored sputum or nasal discharge
- mouth or throat pain
- pain in the arms or legs
- skin scraping or tearing
- trouble sleeping
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to levodopa: compounding powder, inhalation capsule, oral capsule, oral tablet
In a crossover clinical study in subjects with mild or moderate asthma on a stable regimen of asthma medication (n=25), patients received orally inhaled drug 84 mg every 4 hours for a total of 3 doses and placebo. Cough was reported by 60% of subjects following drug administration compared with 0% following placebo. Ten subjects (40%) had temporary FEV1 reductions from baseline (between 15% and 59%), and 4 of these subjects also had a reduction in FEV1 following placebo. Subjects with a reduction in FEV1 remained asymptomatic and did not require rescue treatment.
Very common (10% or more): Cough (15%)
Common (1% to 10%): Discolored sputum, nasal discharge discoloration, oropharyngeal pain, upper respiratory tract infection, nasopharyngitis, bronchitis/pneumonia
Common (1% to 10%): Dyskinesia, headache
Frequency not reported: Falling asleep during activities of daily living, somnolence
Common (1% to 10%): Nausea, vomiting
During clinical trials, hallucinations were reported in less than 2% of patients receiving orally inhaled levodopa.
Common (1% to 10%): Insomnia
Frequency not reported: Hallucinations
Common (1% to 10%): Chest discomfort, orthostatic hypotension/blood pressure decreased
Common (1% to 10%): Laceration, skin abrasion
Common (1% to 10%): Increased blood bilirubin
Common (1% to 10%): Extremity pain
Common (1% to 10%): Decreased red blood cell count
Fever, altered consciousness, autonomic dysfunction and muscle rigidity are the hallmarks of the neuroleptic malignant syndrome. The neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is associated with a case fatality rate of about 20%. If withdrawal of dopaminergic therapy is suspected as the cause of NMS, dopaminergic therapy should be restarted. If a neuroleptic agent is suspected as the cause, the neuroleptic agent should be immediately discontinued. For patients with NMS suspected to be due to neuroleptic therapy, consideration should be given to dantrolene (or bromocriptine) administration. Intensive monitoring and supportive care are indicated for all patients with NMS.
Common (1% to 10%): Fall
Frequently asked questions
- What foods should be avoided when taking levodopa?
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More about levodopa
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- 1 Review
- Drug class: dopaminergic antiparkinsonism agents
- Patient Information
- Levodopa (Advanced Reading)
- Levodopa Inhalation (Advanced Reading)
- Levodopa (Oral Inhalation)
- Other brands
Related treatment guides
1. "Product Information. Inbrija (levodopa)." Acorda Therapeutics, Hawthorne, NY.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.