Brand Name(s): Belepar, Benspar, Levoben
Drug Class: Inhibitor
Benserazide is an inhibitor of the decarboxylation of peripheral levodopa to dopamine. It acts in the same manner as carbidopa. When used along with levodopa, it generates higher brain concentrations of dopamine with minimal doses of Levodopa, thereby minimizing the side effects experienced with higher doses. It is taken orally along with levodopa as an antiparkinsonian agent.
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Listed below are among the uses of benserazide along with its combined uses with levodopa; It reduces the adverse side effects of peripheral dopamine such as nausea, arrhythmia and vasoconstriction.
- Parkinson’s disease
- Restless legs syndrome
- Lightens the side effects of peripheral dopamine
- Reduces side effects of higher doses of Levodopa
- Decarboxylation inhibitor
The medication also inhibits an enzyme that catalyzes varying decarboxylations. In treating the Parkinson’s disease, a combination of levodopa and Benserazide aids in alleviating the symptoms of Parkinsonism, thus allowing more normal body movements with improved muscle control.
Benserazide and levodopa combination therapy is also recommended in patients that have previously been unable to tolerate an optimal daily dosage of levodopa.
The right Benserazide dosage should be administered according to the directions of the physician without stopping, unless directed by the physician. This not only allows the patient to acquire maximum benefits of medication, but also alleviate the risk of adverse effects. Maximum effectiveness of the medication may take several weeks or months after beginning therapy. The dosage instructions are as follows;
- The effective dosage is generally between four to eight capsules, tablets or 125 or 125 mg dispersible tablets each day. This dosage should be divided into three or four doses. This means that an individual should take one tablet, capsule or dispersible tablet at least three times a day.
In addition, tablets that break away from the score line should be discarded. on the other hand, if a dose is missed, it should be taken as soon as possible. If it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dosage and wait for the next dose.
If therapy is interrupted for a brief period, the previous dosage should be given as soon as the patient can take medication orally. If the interruption is for a prolonged period, a lower dose should be administered and titrated slowly to the appropriate dosage.
Benserazide Side Effects
Long term use of Benserazide and Levodopa combination therapy may bring about a number of side effects. incase these effects worsen ocome severe, one should seek immediate medical attention. The side effects nclude;
- Involuntary movement such as dystonec or choreiform movements
- Muscle twitching
- Motor fluctuations
- Cardiovascular effects
- Neuropsychiatric problems
- Periodic oscillations in performance
- Hypnotic freezing
- Deterioration of autonomic and intellectual functions
Some serious side effects that may require immediate medical attention include;
- Lack of or reduction in body movements
- Increase in twitching or blinking of eyelids
- Uncontrolled repetitive movements of lips, tongue, arms, face or legs
- Irregular heartbeat and fainting
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
It is paramount to follow the physician’s directions with regard to the therapy. The list below indicates drugs and substances that may interact with Benserazide. It is therefore important to notify your physician about any prescription or non prescription medications you are taking.
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Antihypertensive agent
- Extreme caution should be observed in patients with a psychotic disorder history and who are receiving psychotherapeutic agents.
In addition, a combination of levodopa and Benserazide should be halted a night prior to surgery for patients requiring general anesthesia. The combination can be restarted the moment a patient is able to receive medication orally.