Carbidopa Tablets, 25 Mg: Package Insert and Label Information

CARBIDOPA TABLETS, 25 MG- carbidopa tablet
Alvogen Inc.

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Rx Only

When Carbidopa Tablets are to be given to carbidopa-naive patients who are being treated with levodopa, the two drugs should be given at the same time, starting with no more than 20% to 25% of the previous daily dosage of levodopa when given without Carbidopa Tablets. At least twelve hours should elapse between the last dose of levodopa and initiation of therapy with Carbidopa Tablets and levodopa. See the WARNINGS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION sections before initiating therapy.

DESCRIPTION

Carbidopa, an inhibitor of aromatic amino acid decarboxylation, is a white, crystalline compound, slightly soluble in water, with a molecular weight of 244.24. It is designated chemically as Benzenepropanoic acid, α-hydrazino-3,4-dihydroxy-α-methyl-, monohydrate, (S-; (–)-L-α –hydrazino-3,4- dihydroxy-α-methylhydrocinnamic acid monohydrate. Its empirical formula is C10 H14 N2 O4 •H2 O, and its structural formula is:

structure
(click image for full-size original)

Carbidopa Tablets contain 25 mg of carbidopa. Inactive ingredients are corn starch, FD&C Yellow #6 Aluminum Lake, microcrystalline cellulose, and magnesium stearate.

Tablet content is expressed in terms of anhydrous carbidopa which has a molecular weight of 226.23.

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder of the extrapyramidal nervous system affecting the mobility and control of the skeletal muscular system. Its characteristic features include resting tremor, rigidity, and bradykinetic movements.

Symptomatic treatments, such as levodopa therapies, may permit the patient better mobility.

Mechanism of Action

Current evidence indicates that symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are related to depletion of dopamine in the corpus striatum. Administration of dopamine is ineffective in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease apparently because it does not cross the blood-brain barrier. However, levodopa, the metabolic precursor of dopamine, does cross the blood-brain barrier, and presumably is converted to dopamine in the brain. This is thought to be the mechanism whereby levodopa relieves symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Pharmacodynamics

When levodopa is administered orally it is rapidly decarboxylated to dopamine in extracerebral tissues so that only a small portion of a given dose is transported unchanged to the central nervous system. For this reason, large doses of levodopa are required for adequate therapeutic effect and these may often be accompanied by nausea and other adverse reactions, some of which are attributable to dopamine formed in extracerebral tissues.

The incidence of levodopa-induced nausea and vomiting is less when Carbidopa Tablets are used with levodopa than when levodopa is used without Carbidopa Tablets. In many patients, this reduction in nausea and vomiting will permit more rapid dosage titration.

Carbidopa inhibits decarboxylation of peripheral levodopa. Carbidopa has not been demonstrated to have any overt pharmacodynamic actions in the recommended doses. It does not appear to cross the blood-brain barrier readily and does not affect the metabolism of levodopa within the central nervous system at doses of carbidopa that are recommended for maximum effective inhibition of peripheral decarboxylation of levodopa.

Since its decarboxylase-inhibiting activity is limited primarily to extracerebral tissues, administration of carbidopa with levodopa makes more levodopa available for transport to the brain. However, since levodopa and carbidopa compete with certain amino acids for transport across the gut wall, the absorption of levodopa and carbidopa may be impaired in some patients on a high protein diet.

Pharmacokinetics

Carbidopa reduces the amount of levodopa required to produce a given response by about 75% and, when administered with levodopa, increases both plasma levels and the plasma half-life of levodopa, and decreases plasma and urinary dopamine and homovanillic acid.

In clinical pharmacologic studies, simultaneous administration of separate tablets of carbidopa and levodopa produced greater urinary excretion of levodopa in proportion to the excretion of dopamine when compared to the two drugs administered at separate times.

Supplemental pyridoxine (vitamin B6 ) can be given to patients when they are receiving Carbidopa Tablets and levodopa concomitantly or the fixed combination carbidopa-levodopa or carbidopa-levodopa extended release. Previous reports in the medical literature cautioned that high doses of vitamin B6 should not be taken by patients on levodopa therapy alone because exogenously administered pyridoxine would enhance the metabolism of levodopa to dopamine. The introduction of carbidopa to levodopa therapy, which inhibits the peripheral decarboxylation of levodopa to dopamine, counteracts the metabolic-enhancing effect of pyridoxine.

Carbidopa is combined with levodopa in carbidopa-levodopa and carbidopa-levodopa extended release tablets.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Carbidopa Tablets are indicated for use with carbidopa-levodopa or with levodopa in the treatment of the symptoms of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (paralysis agitans), postencephalitic parkinsonism, and symptomatic parkinsonism, which may follow injury to the nervous system by carbon monoxide intoxication and/or manganese intoxication.

Carbidopa Tablets are for use with carbidopa-levodopa in patients for whom the dosage of carbidopa-levodopa provides less than adequate daily dosage (usually 70 mg daily) of carbidopa.

Carbidopa Tablets are for use with levodopa in the occasional patient whose dosage requirement of carbidopa and levodopa necessitates separate titration of each medication.

Carbidopa Tablets are used with carbidopa-levodopa or with levodopa to permit the administration of lower doses of levodopa with reduced nausea and vomiting, more rapid dosage titration, and with a somewhat smoother response. However, patients with markedly irregular (“on-off”) responses to levodopa have not been shown to benefit from the addition of carbidopa.

Since carbidopa prevents the reversal of levodopa effects caused by pyridoxine, supplemental pyridoxine (vitamin B6 ) can be given to patients when they are receiving carbidopa and levodopa concomitantly or as carbidopa-levodopa.

Although the administration of Carbidopa Tablets permits control of parkinsonism and Parkinson’s disease with much lower doses of levodopa, there is no conclusive evidence at present that this is beneficial other than in reducing nausea and vomiting, permitting more rapid titration, and providing a somewhat smoother response to levodopa.

Certain patients who responded poorly to levodopa alone have improved when carbidopa and levodopa were given concurrently. This was most likely due to decreased peripheral decarboxylation of levodopa rather than to a primary effect of carbidopa on the peripheral nervous system. Carbidopa has not been shown to enhance the intrinsic efficacy of levodopa.

In deciding whether to give Carbidopa Tablets with carbidopa-levodopa or with levodopa to patients who have nausea and/or vomiting, the physician should be aware that, while many patients may be expected to improve, some may not. Since one cannot predict which patients are likely to improve, this can only be determined by a trial of therapy. It should be further noted that in controlled trials comparing carbidopa and levodopa with levodopa alone, about half the patients with nausea and/or vomiting on levodopa alone improved spontaneously despite being retained on the same dose of levodopa during the controlled portion of the trial.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Carbidopa Tablets are contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to any component of this drug.

Nonselective monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors are contraindicated for use with levodopa or carbidopa-levodopa combination products with or without Carbidopa Tablets. These inhibitors must be discontinued at least two weeks prior to initiating therapy with levodopa. Carbidopa-levodopa, or levodopa may be administered concomitantly with the manufacturer’s recommended dose of an MAO inhibitor with selectivity for MAO type B (e.g., selegiline HCl) (see PRECAUTIONS, Drug Interactions).

Levodopa or carbidopa-levodopa products, with or without Carbidopa Tablets, are contra-indicated in patients with narrow-angle glaucoma.

WARNINGS

Carbidopa Tablets has no antiparkinsonian effect when given alone. It is indicated for use with carbidopa-levodopa or levodopa. Carbidopa Tablets does not decrease adverse reactions due to central effects of levodopa.

When Carbidopa Tablets are to be given to carbidopa-naive patients who are being treated with levodopa alone, the two drugs should be given at the same time. At least twelve hours should elapse between the last dose of levodopa and initiation of therapy with Carbidopa Tablets and levodopa in combination. Start with no more than one-fifth (20%) to one-fourth (25%) of the previous daily dosage of levodopa when given without Carbidopa Tablets. See the DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION section before initiating therapy.

The addition of Carbidopa Tablets with levodopa or carbidopa-levodopa reduces the peripheral effects (nausea, vomiting) due to decarboxylation of levodopa; however, Carbidopa Tablets do not decrease the adverse reactions due to the central effects of levodopa. Because Carbidopa Tablets permit more levodopa to reach the brain and more dopamine to be formed, certain adverse central nervous system (CNS) effects, e.g., dyskinesias (involuntary movements), may occur at lower dosages and sooner with levodopa in combination with Carbidopa Tablets than with levodopa alone.

Falling Asleep During Activities of Daily Living and Somnolence

Patients taking carbidopa-levodopa products alone or with other dopaminergic drugs have reported suddenly falling asleep without prior warning of sleepiness while engaged in activities of daily living (includes operation of motor vehicles). Some of these episodes resulted in automobile accidents. Although many of these patients reported somnolence while on dopaminergic medications, some did perceive that they had no warning signs, such as excessive drowsiness, and believed that they were alert immediately prior to the event. Some patients reported these events one year after the initiation of treatment.

Falling asleep while engaged in activities of daily living usually occurs in patients experiencing pre-existing somnolence, although some patients may not give such a history. For this reason, prescribers should continually reassess patients for drowsiness or sleepiness especially since some of the events occur after the start of treatment. Prescribers should be aware that patients may not acknowledge drowsiness or sleepiness until directly questioned about drowsiness or sleepiness during specific activities. Patients who have already experienced somnolence or an episode of sudden sleep onset should not participate in these activities during treatment with Carbidopa Tablets when taking it with other carbidopa-levodopa products.

Before initiating treatment with Carbidopa Tablets, advise patients about the potential to develop drowsiness and ask specifically about factors that may increase the risk for somnolence with Carbidopa Tablets such as the use of concomitant sedating medications and the presence of sleep disorders. Consider discontinuing Carbidopa Tablets in patients who report significant daytime sleepiness or episodes of falling asleep during activities that require active participation (e.g., conversations, eating, etc.). If treatment with Carbidopa Tablets continues, patients should be advised not to drive and to avoid other potentially dangerous activities that might result in harm if the patients become somnolent. There is insufficient information to establish that dose reduction will eliminate episodes of falling asleep while engaged in activities of daily living.

Hyperpyrexia and Confusion:

Sporadic cases of a symptom complex resembling neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) have been reported in association with dose reductions or withdrawal of certain antiparkinsonian agents such as levodopa, carbidopa-levodopa, or carbidopa-levodopa extended-release. Therefore, patients should be observed carefully when the dosage of levodopa or carbidopa-levodopa is reduced abruptly or discontinued, especially if the patient is receiving neuroleptics.

NMS is an uncommon but life-threatening syndrome characterized by fever or hyperthermia. Neurological findings, including muscle rigidity, involuntary movements, altered consciousness, mental status changes; other disturbances, such as autonomic dysfunction, tachycardia, tachypnea, sweating, hyper- or hypotension; laboratory findings, such as creatine phosphokinase elevation, leukocytosis, myoglobinuria, and increased serum myoglobin, have been reported.

The early diagnosis of this condition is important for the appropriate management of these patients. Considering NMS as a possible diagnosis and ruling out other acute illnesses (e.g., pneumonia, systemic infection, etc.) is essential. This may be especially complex if the clinical presentation includes both serious medical illness and untreated or inadequately treated extrapyramidal signs and symptoms (EPS). Other important considerations in the differential diagnosis include central anticholinergic toxicity, heat stroke, drug fever, and primary central nervous system (CNS) pathology.

The management of NMS should include: 1) intensive symptomatic treatment and medical monitoring and 2) treatment of any concomitant serious medical problems for which specific treatments are available. Dopamine agonists, such as bromocriptine, and muscle relaxants, such as dantrolene, are often used in the treatment of NMS; however, their effectiveness has not been demonstrated in controlled studies.

PRECAUTIONS

General

As with levodopa alone, periodic evaluations of hepatic, hematopoietic, cardiovascular, and renal function are recommended during extended concomitant therapy with Carbidopa Tablets and levodopa, or with Carbidopa Tablets and carbidopa-levodopa or any combination of these drugs.

Impulse Control/Compulsive Behaviors

Postmarketing reports suggest that patients treated with anti-Parkinson medications can experience intense urges to gamble, increased sexual urges, intense urges to spend money uncontrollably, binge eating, and other intense urges. Patients may be unable to control these urges while taking one or more of the medications that are used for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and that increase central dopaminergic tone, including Carbidopa Tablets taken with levodopa and carbidopa. In some cases, although not all, these urges were reported to have stopped when the dose of anti-Parkinson medications was reduced or discontinued. Because patients may not recognize these behaviors as abnormal it is important for prescribers to specifically ask patients or their caregivers about the development of new or increased gambling urges, sexual urges, uncontrolled spending or other urges while being treated with Carbidopa Tablets. Physicians should consider dose reduction or stopping Carbidopa Tablets or levodopa if a patient develops such urges while taking Carbidopa Tablets with carbidopa-levodopa.

Hallucinations/Psychotic-Like Behavior

Hallucinations and psychotic like behavior have been reported with dopaminergic medications. In general, hallucinations present shortly after the initiation of therapy and may be responsive to dose reduction in levodopa. Hallucinations may be accompanied by confusion and to a lesser extent sleep disorder (insomnia) and excessive dreaming. Carbidopa Tablets when taken with carbidopa-levodopa may have similar effects on thinking and behavior. This abnormal thinking and behavior may present with one or more symptoms, including paranoid ideation, delusions, hallucinations, confusion, psychotic-like behavior, disorientation, aggressive behavior, agitation, and delirium.

Ordinarily, patients with a major psychotic disorder should not be treated with Carbidopa Tablets and carbidopa-levodopa, because of the risk of exacerbating psychosis. In addition, certain medications used to treat psychosis may exacerbate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and may decrease the effectiveness of Carbidopa Tablets.

Dyskinesia

Carbidopa Tablets may potentiate the dopaminergic side effects of levodopa and may cause or exacerbate preexisting dyskinesia.

Depression

Patients treated with Carbidopa Tablets and carbidopa-levodopa should be observed carefully for the development of depression with concomitant suicidal tendencies.

Melanoma

Epidemiological studies have shown that patients with Parkinson’s disease have a higher risk (2- to approximately 6-fold higher) of developing melanoma than the general population. Whether the observed increased risk was due to Parkinson’s disease or other factors, such as drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease, is unclear.

For the reasons stated above, patients and providers are advised to monitor for melanomas frequently and on a regular basis when using Carbidopa Tablets for Parkinson’s disease. Ideally, periodic skin examinations should be performed by appropriately qualified individuals (e.g., dermatologists).

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