In clinical studies, Stalevo has been shown to be more effective than carbidopa-levodopa for Parkinson's treatment. In these studies, people who were experiencing wearing-off fluctuations of their carbidopa-levodopa therapy were given either entacapone or a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredient) to take with each dose of their carbidopa-levodopa. These studies showed that entacapone helped the carbidopa-levodopa work longer, with shorter "off" periods (when the medication did not work well) and longer "on" periods (when the medication worked well).
General considerations for when and how to take Stalevo include the following:
- The medication comes in tablet form. It is taken by mouth, usually three or four times a day (or however frequently you were taking carbidopa-levodopa).
- The protein in food can decrease the absorption of Stalevo into the body. Some healthcare providers recommended taking the drug on an empty stomach or with a low-protein diet. Officially, the manufacturer states that Stalevo can be taken either with or without food.
- Make sure to take Stalevo at the same times each day to maintain an even level in your blood.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it. Do not stop taking the drug suddenly without first talking to your healthcare provider.
The dosage your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- Your current carbidopa-levodopa dose
- How you respond to Stalevo (especially if you develop bothersome side effects)
- Other medications you are taking
- Other medical conditions you may have.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
(Click Stalevo Dosage for more information.)