Dhivy™ (carbidopa/levodopa)

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: May 2022

Dhivy™ (carbidopa/levodopa) is a tablet approved to treat motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Motor symptoms include shaking, stiffness, poor balance, and slow or involuntary movements.1

Dhivy may also be prescribed to treat Parkinson’s symptoms that develop after encephalitis or caused by carbon monoxide or manganese poisoning.2

What are the ingredients?

The active ingredients in Dhivy are carbidopa and levodopa.1

How does Dhivy work?

Dhivy helps restore dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter (chemical messenger) that drives smooth, purposeful movement. Parkinson’s damages areas of the brain that make dopamine.2

Dhivy comes in a tablet that can be easily broken into smaller doses. This is helpful to adjust the medicine to fit each person’s dosing needs. The tablets may also be broken into smaller pieces if someone has trouble swallowing larger pills.3

Each tablet section contains the smallest dose of carbidopa and levodopa given to control Parkinson’s symptoms. It may be taken with or without food.1

What are the possible side effects?

The most common side effects of Dhivy include:1

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low blood pressure that leads to lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Hallucinations (seeing things that are not there)
  • Changes in mood or impulse control
  • Unusual involuntary movements

People taking Dhivy may fall asleep suddenly during normal activities. This can happen a year or more after starting the drug. You should not drive or operate machinery until you know how Dhivy affects you.3

These are not all the possible side effects of Dhivy. Talk to your doctor about what to expect when taking this drug. You also should call your doctor if you have any changes that concern you when taking Dhivy.

Things to know

You should not stop taking Dhivy suddenly or lower the dose without talking with your doctor.3

Make sure your doctor knows your full medical history before taking Dhivy. This drug may not be a good option for those who have:3

  • Had a heart attack or irregular heartbeat
  • Hallucinations, confusion, agitation, or aggressive or uncontrolled behaviors
  • Had glaucoma or a peptic ulcer
  • Depression or suicidal thoughts

Dhivy may react poorly when taken with several other kinds of drugs. This includes:1

  • Some antidepressants
  • Phenothiazines, butyrophenones, risperidone, and isoniazid
  • Iron pills or multivitamins with iron
  • Drugs to lower blood pressure and dopamine levels

Call your doctor right away if you develop fever, confusion, or severe muscle stiffness while taking Dhivy.3

A diet high in protein can change how Dhivy is absorbed by the body. While Dhivy can be taken with or without food, you should avoid fad diets. Always talk to your doctor before changing your diet while taking Dhivy.3

You should not take Dhivy if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are nursing. In animal studies, Dhivy harmed the developing baby.1

You also should not take this drug if you know you are sensitive to carbidopa or levodopa.3

For more information, read the full prescribing information of Dhivy.

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