Duopa is a brand-name prescription drug. It’s FDA-approved to treat advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD) in adults who are experiencing motor fluctuations.

PD is a type of movement disorder. Motor fluctuations with PD may include hand tremors as well as loss of balance and coordination. These fluctuations occur when nerve cells can no longer control certain body movements.

Drug details

Duopa contains two active drugs: carbidopa and levodopa. Carbidopa belongs to a group of medications known as decarboxylation inhibitors. Levodopa belongs to a group of medications called central nervous system drugs.

Duopa comes as a liquid suspension in a cassette. The cassette attaches to a pump device that delivers the drug through a tube in your intestine.* You or your caregiver will be trained on how to use Duopa with a pump.

Each milliliter (mL) of Duopa contains 4.63 milligrams (mg) of carbidopa and 20 mg of levodopa. You’ll likely use Duopa every day.

* To see if Duopa is right for you, you may first receive the drug through a nasal tube that runs to your intestine. If Duopa is effective, you can then receive the medication through a tube in your stomach that goes to your intestine.

Effectiveness

For information about the effectiveness of Duopa, see the “Duopa for Parkinson’s disease” section below.

Duopa is available only as a brand-name medication. It’s not currently available in generic form.

A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics usually cost less than brand-name drugs.

Duopa contains two active drugs: carbidopa and levodopa. These active drugs are available together as a generic in tablet form. To see if it can be used for your condition, talk with your doctor.

As with all medications, the cost of Duopa can vary. To find current prices for Duopa in your area, check out WellRx.com.

The cost you find on WellRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use. In addition, you may need to purchase batteries for the pump you’ll use with Duopa.

Keep in mind that you may be able to get a 90-day supply of Duopa. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor or insurance company.

Before approving coverage for Duopa, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Duopa, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Duopa, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

AbbVie Inc., the manufacturer of Duopa, offers a patient assistance program that may lower the cost of its drug. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 844-386-4968 or visit the program website.

Mail-order pharmacies

Duopa may be available through a mail-order pharmacy. Using this service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to get your medication without leaving home.

If recommended by your doctor, you may be able to receive a 90-day supply of Duopa, so there would be less of a concern about running out of the medication. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor and insurance company. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications.

If you don’t have insurance, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist about online pharmacy options.

Generic version

Duopa isn’t available in generic form. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

Duopa can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while using Duopa. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

For more information about the possible side effects of Duopa, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Duopa, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects* of Duopa can include:

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from Duopa. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist or view Duopa’s medication guide.
† Duopa is usually administered through a tube that’s inserted into a stoma. For more information, see “Gastrointestinal problems” in “Side effect details” below.
‡ Duopa can be administered through a tube that’s inserted through your nose and down your throat to your intestine. This may cause a sore throat.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Duopa aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

  • Heart problems,* including abnormal heart rhythm or heart attack. Symptoms can include:
    • chest pain
    • shortness of breath
    • worsening pressure in the chest
  • Dyskinesia (uncontrolled and sudden body movements). Symptoms can include:
    • swaying or rocking
    • fidgeting
    • wriggling
    • head bobbing
  • Orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure due to standing up quickly). Symptoms can include:
    • dizziness
    • feeling more tired than usual
  • Peripheral neuropathy (a type of nerve damage). Symptoms typically affect the hands and feet and can include:
    • tingling, burning, or numbness
    • muscle weakness
  • Gastrointestinal problems,† such as nausea.
  • Excessive sleepiness.†
  • Mental health and behavioral changes,† such as depression.
  • Allergic reaction.†

* Heart problems occurred in some people who took carbidopa and levodopa, the active drugs in Duopa.
† For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.

Side effect details

Here’s some detail on certain side effects this drug may cause.

Gastrointestinal problems

Duopa may be administered through a tube in your nose or stomach. When the drug is given in either of these ways, nausea may occur. Other gastrointestinal problems (including procedure-related problems) may occur as well.

To see if Duopa is right for you, you may first receive the drug through a nasal tube that runs to your intestine. If Duopa is effective, you can then receive the medication through a tube in your stomach that goes to your intestine.

For the drug to be given directly into your intestine, a stoma will need to be created. A stoma is a small hole made in your stomach. A pump that delivers Duopa attaches to a tube in the stoma.

It’s possible to have gastrointestinal problems due to the procedure to create the stoma. These may include:

  • redness or deepening of skin color in the area of the stoma
  • bleeding, pain, and swelling in the area of the stoma
  • ulcers (sores)
  • stool that’s bloody or tarry and dark

In clinical studies, gastrointestinal problems were fairly common with Duopa use. To learn more, see the drug’s prescribing information.

If you’re concerned about gastrointestinal problems (including procedure-related problems) while using Duopa, talk with your doctor. They may be able to suggest ways to help prevent and ease these side effects.

Excessive sleepiness

Excessive sleepiness may occur with Duopa use. To find out how often this side effect occurred in clinical studies, see Duopa’s prescribing information.

Symptoms of excessive sleepiness can include:

  • feeling drowsy at any time of day
  • drowsiness while driving
  • falling asleep during daily activities, such as talking or driving

If you experience sleepiness while using Duopa, talk with your doctor. They may be able to suggest ways to help relieve this side effect.

Mental health and behavioral changes

Duopa use may cause mental health and behavioral changes. These can include hallucinations, psychosis, and impulsive behaviors. The changes can also include depression as well as suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Here’s some information about these side effects.

Hallucinations and psychosis

Hallucinations and psychosis may occur with Duopa use. A hallucination is an experience in which you see or hear things that aren’t really there. Psychosis is being out of touch with reality.

Drugs that raise dopamine levels in the body, such as Duopa, have been known to cause hallucinations in some people. (Dopamine is a type of chemical in the brain.)

Symptoms of hallucinations may include:

  • confusion
  • insomnia (trouble falling asleep or staying asleep)
  • dreaming much more than usual
  • feeling out of touch with reality

Symptoms of psychosis may include:

  • hallucinations
  • disorganized behavior, speech, and thoughts
  • mood changes

Impulsive behaviors

Impulsive behaviors have been reported in some people using Duopa. Examples of these behaviors include:

  • making large purchases you wouldn’t usually make
  • a new or increased desire to gamble
  • increased sexual urges

Depression and suicidal thoughts and behaviors

Depression and suicidal thoughts and behaviors have been reported in some people taking Duopa.

Symptoms of depression can include:

  • changes in your appetite
  • sleeping more than usual
  • having little interest in activities that you used to enjoy

Symptoms of suicidal thoughts can include:

  • feeling hopeless
  • talking about violence, dying, or suicide
  • becoming isolated

Steps to take

While using Duopa, you and your loved should watch for any major changes in your mental health and behavior. Your doctor should monitor you as well.

If you experience hallucinations, psychosis, impulsive behaviors, depression, or thoughts of suicide while using Duopa, talk with your doctor right away. They may adjust your dosage or stop your Duopa treatment.

To learn out more about these side effects, see Duopa’s prescribing information. You can also find information on how often they occurred in clinical studies.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after using Duopa. But this side effect wasn’t reported in clinical studies.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of your skin color)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Duopa, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency.

The Duopa dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and severity of the condition you’re using Duopa to treat
  • the dosage of oral levodopa you’re currently taking*
  • your age
  • other medical conditions you may have

Typically, your doctor will start you on a dosage based on the amount of levodopa you currently take. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

* Duopa is approved to treat advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD), so you’ll likely already be receiving treatment for PD. This treatment typically consists of oral levodopa.

Drug forms and strengths

Duopa comes as a liquid suspension that’s in a cassette. The cassette attaches to a pump device that delivers the drug through a tube into your stomach over several hours. The stomach tube is often called a jejunal tube (J-tube). You or your caregiver will be trained on how to use Duopa with a pump.

The medication can also be given through a naso-jejunal tube (a tube in your nose), but this is less common. For details, see “Dosage for Parkinson’s disease” below.

Each milliliter (mL) of Duopa contains 4.63 milligrams (mg) of carbidopa and 20 mg of levodopa.

Dosage for Parkinson’s disease

Duopa is used to treat advanced PD in adults who are experiencing motor fluctuations. To learn more about the drug’s use, see the “Duopa for Parkinson’s disease” section below.

Before you use Duopa

You’ll likely already be using medication, such as levodopa, for PD. Levodopa works to increase the level of a chemical called dopamine in the brain.

Before you start using Duopa, your doctor will typically switch you to oral tablets that contain levodopa and carbidopa. The drug carbidopa helps prevent your body from breaking down levodopa.

The carbidopa/levodopa tablets are immediate release, which means that they release into your system immediately.

Switching to immediate-release carbidopa/levodopa helps determine the dosage of Duopa you’ll need. Once you’re stable on the immediate-release carbidopa/levodopa tablets, your doctor can determine the best dosage of Duopa for you. (“Stable” means that your condition isn’t worsening.)

Using Duopa

To see if Duopa is right for you, you may first receive the drug through a nasal tube that runs to your intestine. If Duopa is effective, you can then receive the medication through a tube in your stomach that goes to your intestine.

For the drug to be given directly into your intestine, a stoma will need to be created. A stoma is a small hole made in your stomach. A pump that delivers Duopa attaches to a tube in the stoma. You or your caregiver will be trained on how to use Duopa with a pump.

Determining dosage

When you receive Duopa through a stomach tube, your doctor will determine the dosage you should start with.

Duopa is typically given as an infusion over a 16-hour period. (An infusion is a liquid medication that’s given to the body over a certain amount of time.) You’ll likely connect to the pump each morning, then disconnect from it at night.

Your doctor may increase your daily dosage until it helps ease your symptoms. The maximum total daily dosage of Duopa is one cassette per day. Each cassette contains 2,000 mg of levodopa.

What if I miss a dose?

You should take your Duopa dose daily. But if you’re unable to use the medication, you’ll likely need to take carbidopa/levodopa tablets instead. Ask your doctor what the right tablet dosage is for you.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or timer on your phone or downloading a reminder app. A kitchen timer can also work.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Duopa is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Duopa is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely use it long term.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Duopa to treat certain conditions.

Duopa is FDA-approved to treat advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD) in adults who are experiencing motor fluctuations. These fluctuations occur when nerve cells can no longer control certain body movements.

About Parkinson’s disease

PD is a type of movement disorder that affects your nervous system. PD causes symptoms to get worse over time. In people with PD, the brain cells that make dopamine* stop working as well as usual or die. This causes low levels of dopamine in the brain.

Over time, this loss of dopamine affects your control over your body movements. When this happens, the most common symptoms of PD usually start to appear.

Symptoms of PD may include:

  • dyskinesia (uncontrolled or sudden body movements)
  • loss of balance
  • stiff or rigid muscles
  • fidgeting

Motor fluctuations with PD may include hand tremors as well as loss of balance and coordination.

Over time, PD typically becomes worse and reaches a stage called advanced PD. People with advanced PD often have extreme stiffness. Most people with advanced PD can’t walk. They may require a wheelchair or be bedridden. People with advanced PD typically require caregiver help and are unable to live alone.

* Dopamine is a brain chemical that sends messages to your body to help control your movements.

Effectiveness for Parkinson’s disease

In clinical studies involving adults with advanced PD, Duopa was shown to be an effective treatment in easing motor fluctuations. For Duopa clinical study results, see the drug’s prescribing information.

The International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society recommends the active drugs in Duopa (carbidopa and levodopa) as a treatment for PD and PD-related symptoms.

Duopa and children

Duopa isn’t approved for use in children. This drug has only been studied in adults. It’s not known if Duopa is safe or effective for children.

If you’re interested in PD treatments for your child, talk with their doctor.

If you’re using Duopa, your doctor may also prescribe oral tablets that contain carbidopa and levodopa. The tablets are immediate release, which means that they release into your system immediately.

If you’re unable to take your regular dose of Duopa, you may be able to take the tablets instead. You may also need to take the tablets at night if you have Parkinson’s disease symptoms while your pump is disconnected.

Your doctor can advise you on when you should take carbidopa/levodopa tablets.

You should use Duopa according to your doctor’s or another healthcare professional’s instructions.

To see if Duopa is right for you, you may first receive the drug through a tube in your nose that runs to your intestine.* If Duopa is effective, you can then receive the medication through a tube in your stomach that goes to your intestine.†

For the drug to be given directly into your intestine, a stoma will need to be created. A stoma is a small hole made in your stomach. A pump that delivers Duopa attaches to a tube in the stoma. You or your caregiver will be trained on how to use Duopa with a pump.

Duopa comes as a liquid suspension that’s in a cassette. The cassette attaches to the pump to deliver the drug as an infusion. An infusion is a liquid medication that’s given to the body over a certain amount of time. Duopa is typically given over a 16-hour period.

You should take the Duopa cassette out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before you put it in the pump. This allows the drug to come to room temperature. You shouldn’t use Duopa if the medication has been out of the refrigerator for longer than 16 hours.

For more information and a step-by-step guide on how to use Duopa, see the drug’s instructions for use.

* The nasal tube is also called a naso-jejunal tube.
† The tube that enters your intestine through your stomach is also known as a jejunal tube (J-tube).

When it’s administered

Duopa is meant for daily use. You’ll likely connect to the pump each morning, then disconnect from it at night. Duopa is typically given over a 16-hour period.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or timer on your phone or downloading a reminder app. A kitchen timer can also work.

Taking Duopa with food

You can start taking your Duopa dose with or without food.

Keep in mind that eating foods high in protein may make your body less able to absorb levodopa than usual. (Levodopa is one of the active drugs in Duopa.) If your body isn’t absorbing enough levodopa, the drug may not be as effective in treating your symptoms.

If you drastically change the amount of protein you regularly eat, talk with your doctor. They can help determine whether to adjust your Duopa dosage.

Other drugs are available that can treat Parkinson’s disease (PD). Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Duopa, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Note: Some of the drugs listed here are used off-label to treat PD. Off-label drug use is when an FDA-approved drug is used for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat PD include:

  • carbidopa/levodopa (Sinemet)
  • extended-release carbidopa/levodopa (Rytary)
  • selegiline (Zelapar)
  • entacapone (Comtan)
  • tolcapone (Tasmar)
  • safinamide (Xadago)
  • rasagiline (Azilect)

Duopa isn’t known to interact with alcohol. But both Duopa and alcohol can cause:

Drinking alcohol while you’re using Duopa may raise your risk for these side effects. In some cases, these side effects can become serious.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor before you start using Duopa. They may be able to recommend a safe amount for you to drink. Or, they may suggest that you avoid alcohol during your treatment.

Duopa can interact with several other medications. It can also interact with certain supplements as well as certain foods.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase the number of side effects or make them more severe.

Duopa and other medications

Below is a list of medications that can interact with Duopa. This list doesn’t contain all drugs that may interact with Duopa.

Before taking Duopa, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also, tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Types of drugs that can interact with Duopa include the following.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors. There are two kinds of monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) drugs: selective and nonselective. Selective MOAIs are used to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, while nonselective MAOIs are typically used to treat depression.

Using Duopa with selective MAOIs can cause a sudden drop in your blood pressure, especially when you stand up. Examples of selective MAOIs include rasagiline (Azilect) and selegiline (Eldepryl, Zelapar).

You shouldn’t use a nonselective MAOI while you use Duopa. Using these drugs in combination with Duopa can lead to extremely high blood pressure, which can result in other complications. Your doctor will typically have you stop using the nonselective MAOI at least 2 weeks before you start using Duopa. This helps ensure that the nonselective MAOI is out of your system and won’t be able to interact with Duopa. Examples of nonselective MAOIs include tranylcypromine (Parnate) and phenelzine (Nardil).

Drugs that lower high blood pressure. Duopa can also lower blood pressure. So, using Duopa with these drugs can make your blood pressure too low. Examples of these medications include:

  • amlodipine besylate (Norvasc, Lotrel)
  • diltiazem hydrochloride (Cardizem CD, Tiazac)
  • carvedilol (Coreg)
  • metoprolol tartrate (Lopressor)
  • lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril)

Dopamine D2 receptor antagonists. These drugs can lower the level of dopamine in your body, while Duopa increases it. So, using Duopa with these drugs can make Duopa less effective than usual. Examples of dopamine D2 receptor antagonists can include:

Isoniazid. This drug is an antibiotic used to treat tuberculosis. Taking Duopa with isoniazid can make Duopa less effective than usual.

If you have questions about potential interactions with Duopa, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Duopa and herbs and supplements

Duopa may interact with supplements that contain iron. This can include some multivitamins.

Taking Duopa with supplements containing iron may decrease the level of levodopa your body absorbs. (Levodopa is one of the active drugs in Duopa.) This can make Duopa less effective in treating your symptoms.

If you need to take a supplement that contains iron while you’re using Duopa, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can advise you on the best time to take each treatment.

Duopa and foods

Eating foods high in protein while using Duopa may make your body less able to absorb levodopa than usual. (Levodopa is one of the active drugs in Duopa.) For details, see “Taking Duopa with food” in the “How Duopa is administered” section above.

If you have any questions about eating certain foods with Duopa, talk with your doctor.

Duopa and lab tests

Duopa may affect the results of certain lab tests.

Lab tests with results that may not be accurate while you’re taking Duopa include:

If you have any of these tests done during your Duopa treatment, tell the healthcare professional performing them that you’re taking Duopa. This may help them accurately interpret your lab results.

Duopa is approved to treat advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD) in adults who are experiencing motor fluctuations. Motor fluctuations with PD may include hand tremors as well as loss of balance and coordination.

What happens with Parkinson’s disease

PD is a type of movement disorder that affects your nervous system. In people with PD, the brain cells that make dopamine* stop working as well as usual or die. This causes low levels of dopamine in the brain. Over time, this loss of dopamine affects your control over your body movements.

* Dopamine is a brain chemical that sends messages to your body to help control your movements.

What Duopa does

Duopa contains two active drugs: carbidopa and levodopa. These drugs work together to increase dopamine levels in your brain. This helps relieve the symptoms of PD and allows you to better control your movements.

How long does it take to work?

Duopa starts working in your body right away. Within an hour after taking your dose, you may start to notice your PD symptoms ease.

It isn’t known if Duopa is safe to use during pregnancy. When the drug was given to pregnant animals in studies, there was a risk to developing fetuses. But animal studies don’t always predict what will happen with humans.

If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant while you’re taking Duopa, talk with your doctor right away. They can adjust your treatment plan as needed.

It’s not known if Duopa is safe to use during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Duopa.

For more information about taking Duopa during pregnancy, see the “Duopa and pregnancy” section above.

It’s not recommended that you use Duopa while breastfeeding. Levodopa, an active drug in Duopa, is known to pass into human breast milk. And there’s a possibility that levodopa could cause harm in a breastfed child.

If you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, talk with your doctor. They can advise you on the right treatment plan.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Duopa.

Does Duopa cure Parkinson’s disease?

No, Duopa doesn’t cure Parkinson’s disease (PD). There’s currently no cure for this condition.

Duopa is approved to help manage PD symptoms in people with advanced PD. For more information on how the drug is used, see the “Duopa for Parkinson’s disease” section above.

If you have questions about what to expect from Duopa treatment, talk with your doctor.

Should I wear my Duopa pump while I’m in the shower or bath?

No. You shouldn’t wear your Duopa pump in the shower or bath.

When you take a shower or bath, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Stop the continuous rate on your pump.
  • Turn off your pump.
  • Clamp your cassette tube and disconnect the tube.
  • Replace the red cap on the tube.

For more details, see the drug’s instructions for use.

You may need to take carbidopa/levodopa tablets if you disconnect your pump for a certain period of time, typically 2 hours or longer. Your doctor will tell you the specific amount of time that you can be disconnected before you need an oral dosage of the drugs.

If you have any questions about using your Duopa pump, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Will I need any monitoring or lab tests done while I’m using Duopa?

You may need monitoring and lab tests during your Duopa treatment.

Your doctor may monitor you for certain side effects while you’re taking Duopa. These side effects can include:

For more information on these side effects, see the “Duopa side effects” section above.

Your doctor may also order lab tests to make sure Duopa isn’t causing any side effects. Lab tests that your doctor may order and monitor the results of include:

If you have questions about monitoring or lab tests during your treatment with Duopa, talk with your doctor.

Before taking Duopa, talk with your doctor about your health history. Duopa may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Heart problems. Some people taking carbidopa and levodopa, the active drugs in Duopa, have had heart problems, such as abnormal heart rhythm and heart attack. If you have heart problems, talk with your doctor. They can advise you on whether Duopa or a different medication is the best choice to treat your Parkinson’s disease symptoms.
  • Gastrointestinal problems. If you have a history of ulcers or other gastrointestinal problems, talk with your doctor. The stoma procedure needed for Duopa use can increase your risk for these problems. Talk with your doctor to see whether Duopa or a different medication is right for you.
  • Depression or thoughts of suicide. Duopa may cause depression or thoughts of suicide. If you’ve had depression or thoughts of suicide in the past, talk with your doctor. Using Duopa may increase your risk. Your doctor can help determine whether a different medication is a better fit for you than Duopa.
  • Glaucoma. Duopa can increase pressure in the eyes, causing glaucoma or making existing glaucoma worse. If you have glaucoma, talk with your doctor. They may recommend a drug other than Duopa.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Duopa or any of its ingredients, you shouldn’t take this drug. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.
  • Pregnancy. It’s not known if Duopa is safe to use during pregnancy. For more information, see the “Duopa and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. It’s not recommended that you use Duopa while breastfeeding. For more information, see the “Duopa and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Duopa, see the “Duopa side effects” section above.

Do not use more Duopa than your doctor recommends. For some drugs, doing so may lead to unwanted side effects or overdose.

What to do in case you take too much Duopa

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

There haven’t been studies on whether Duopa can cause drug dependence.

You shouldn’t suddenly stop taking Duopa. Doing so could cause serious side effects. This could include a rare but life threatening group of symptoms similar to neuroleptic malignant syndrome. These symptoms can include:

If you need to stop taking Duopa, talk with your doctor first. They’ll recommend a treatment plan to help you stop taking this drug safely. Typically, your doctor will gradually reduce your dosage over a period of time until it’s safe for you to completely stop treatment.

When you get Duopa from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the cassette. This date is typically 12 weeks from the date they dispensed Duopa. But you should also check the expiration date printed directly on each cartridge of Duopa before use. It’s important that you don’t use an expired cassette.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, ask your pharmacist if you can still use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good to use can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.

After you get Duopa cassettes from your pharmacy, you should store them in a refrigerator. Be sure to keep the cassettes in the original carton until you’re ready to use one. This helps protect them from light.

Take Duopa out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before it’s time to use it. This allows the drug to come to room temperature. You shouldn’t use Duopa if it’s been out of the refrigerator for longer than 16 hours.

Disposal

If you no longer need to take Duopa and have leftover medication, it’s important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident. It also helps keep the drug from harming the environment.

The pump that you use with Duopa contains batteries, which may be damaging to the environment. Your doctor or another healthcare professional can instruct you on how to dispose of the batteries as well as Duopa cassettes.

This article provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information about how to dispose of your medication.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.