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Home / Drugs / Starting with C / Carbidopa

An inhibitor of DOPA decarboxylase, preventing conversion of levodopa to dopamine. It is used in parkinson disease to reduce peripheral adverse effects of levodopa. It has no antiparkinson actions by itself. [PubChem]
CategoriesDopamine Agents
Antiparkinson Agents
Enzyme Inhibitors
ManufacturersAton pharma inc
PackagersAton Pharma Inc.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
Kaiser Foundation Hospital
Medisca Inc.
Merck & Co.
Carbidopa Anhydrous
Carbidopa Monohydrate
Carbidopum [INN-Latin]


For treatment of the symptoms of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (paralysis agitans), post-encephalitic parkinsonism


Carbidopa, a noncompetitive decarboxylase inhibitor, is used in combination with levodopa for the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

mechanism of action

When mixed with levodopa, carbidopa inhibits the peripheral conversion of levodopa to dopamine and the decarboxylation of oxitriptan to serotonin by aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase. This results in increased amount of levodopa and oxitriptan available for transport to the CNS. Carbidopa also inhibits the metabolism of levodopa in the GI tract, thus, increasing the bioavailability of levodopa.


Symptoms of a carbidopa toxicity include muscle spasms or weakness, spasms of the eyelid, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, an irregular heartbeat, confusion, agitation, hallucinations, and unconsciousness.


The loss of the hydrazine functional group (probably as molecular nitrogen) represents the major metabolic pathway for carbidopa. There are several metabolites of carbidopa metabolism including 3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-2-methylpropionic acid, 3-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-2-methylpropionic acid, 3-(3-hydroxyphenyl)-2-methylpropionic acid, 3-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-2-methyllactic acid, 3-(3-hydroxyphenyl)-2-methyllactic acid, and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetone (1,2). [PMID: 4150141]


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.

half life

1-2 hours

route of elimination

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.