Inbrija (Generic Levodopa Oral Inhalation)
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Why is this medication prescribed?
Inbrija is prescribed for the treatment of “off” episodes in individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects movement and is characterized by symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination.
The mainstay of Parkinson’s treatment involves medications that increase the levels of dopamine in the brain, as dopamine deficiency is a key factor in the development of Parkinson’s symptoms. Levodopa is the most effective medication for replenishing dopamine levels, but over time, as the disease progresses, the effectiveness of levodopa may fluctuate.
During the course of Parkinson’s disease, individuals may experience “off” episodes, which are periods when the levodopa medication wears off, and symptoms reemerge or worsen. These episodes can significantly impact a person’s quality of life and daily functioning. “Off” episodes can occur unpredictably and can be disruptive, causing mobility issues and other challenges.
Inbrija is prescribed specifically to manage these “off” episodes. It contains levodopa in a fast-acting powder formulation for oral inhalation. By inhaling the medication, levodopa is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and reaches the brain quickly, providing a rapid relief of Parkinson’s symptoms during an “off” episode.
How should this medicine be used?
Inbrija is a medication used to treat “off” episodes in people with Parkinson’s disease. It contains the active ingredient levodopa, which helps increase the levels of dopamine in the brain. Here are the general guidelines for using Inbrija:
- Inhalation: Inbrija is available as a powder that is inhaled into the lungs using a handheld inhaler device. The inhaler comes with capsules that contain the medication. Do not swallow the capsules.
- “Off” episodes: Inbrija is specifically used to relieve the symptoms of “off” episodes, which are periods of time when the effects of other Parkinson’s medications wear off and symptoms, such as tremors, stiffness, and difficulty moving, return.
- Onset and duration of effect: Inbrija acts quickly, providing relief within 10 to 15 minutes. The effect usually lasts for about 1 to 2 hours. It can be used as needed, up to 5 times a day, with a minimum of 2 hours between doses.
- Preparation: To use Inbrija, you need to insert a capsule into the inhaler device. Open the cap of the inhaler, hold it upright, and twist the base to open it. Remove one capsule from the blister package and place it into the chamber. Close the inhaler tightly.
- Inhalation technique: Sit upright and take a slow, deep breath in, as if you were about to blow out a candle. Place your lips tightly around the mouthpiece of the inhaler, making a seal. Breathe in forcefully and deeply through your mouth, while pressing the button on the inhaler. Continue breathing in until your lungs are full.
- After inhalation: Hold your breath for a few seconds, then remove the inhaler from your mouth and exhale slowly. If you need to take another dose, repeat the process using a new capsule.
- Storage: Store Inbrija capsules at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Keep them in their original blister package until ready to use.
It’s important to follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider and read the medication guide that comes with Inbrija for specific usage instructions and precautions. Additionally, consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about using Inbrija.
Other uses for this medicine
Aside from its primary use, Inbrija may have other potential uses, although these are currently being investigated and not yet approved:
- Early Parkinson’s disease: Inbrija is being studied as a potential treatment for early Parkinson’s disease, which may help delay the need for levodopa pills or other medications.
- Non-motor symptoms: Parkinson’s disease can cause various non-motor symptoms like cognitive changes, mood disorders, and sleep disturbances. Inbrija’s effectiveness in managing these symptoms is still under investigation.
What special precautions should I follow?
As for special precautions with Inbrija, it’s important to note the following:
- Hypersensitivity: Inbrija contains lactose, and individuals with lactose intolerance should exercise caution.
- Cardiovascular disease: Inbrija may cause changes in blood pressure and heart rate. Individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions should be monitored closely when using Inbrija.
- Pulmonary disease: Inbrija is an inhalation powder, so it may pose risks for individuals with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other pulmonary conditions. The inhalation technique should be followed as instructed.
- Psychiatric effects: In rare cases, Inbrija may cause or exacerbate psychiatric symptoms such as hallucinations, confusion, agitation, or psychosis. Individuals with a history of psychiatric disorders should be monitored closely.
- Drug interactions: Inbrija may interact with other medications, including monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), which can lead to serious side effects. It’s essential to inform your healthcare provider about all medications you are taking.
These precautions are not exhaustive, and it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance on the use of Inbrija and any specific precautions or considerations for your situation.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Regarding dietary instructions for Inbrija, there are no specific restrictions or special dietary instructions that need to be followed. However, it’s generally recommended to take Inbrija on an empty stomach or with a light meal to optimize its absorption. High-protein meals may decrease the absorption of levodopa, so it’s best to avoid consuming large amounts of protein-rich foods around the time of taking Inbrija.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you forget to take a dose of Inbrija, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s close to the time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. It’s important not to double up on doses to make up for a missed one. If you have any concerns or questions about your medication or dosing schedule, it’s always best to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Inbrija (levodopa inhalation powder) is a medication used to treat “off” episodes in people with Parkinson’s disease. While it can be effective in managing symptoms, like any medication, it can also have potential side effects. Common side effects of Inbrija may include:
- Cough: Some individuals may experience coughing after using Inbrija.
- Upper respiratory tract infection: Infections such as the common cold or flu affecting the nose, throat, or sinuses may occur.
- Nausea: Some people may feel nauseous after using Inbrija.
- Discoloration of saliva or sputum: In rare cases, the saliva or sputum may turn brownish in color, but this is harmless and resolves on its own.
- Increased blood pressure: Inbrija may cause a temporary increase in blood pressure in some individuals.
- Changes in taste: There have been reports of altered taste perception while using Inbrija.
It’s important to note that these side effects are not experienced by everyone, and some individuals may not experience any side effects at all. If you are prescribed Inbrija and notice any concerning or persistent side effects, it’s crucial to consult your healthcare provider for further guidance. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific situation.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
- Store Inbrija capsules in the original blister package at room temperature, away from moisture, heat, and direct light.
- Do not remove the capsules from the blister pack until you are ready to use them.
- Keep the medication out of the reach of children and pets.
- Unused or expired Inbrija capsules should be properly disposed of. You can consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal authorities for specific guidelines on medication disposal in your area.
In case of emergency/overdose
- In case of an emergency or suspected overdose, immediately call your local emergency helpline (such as 911 in the United States) or seek medical assistance.
- It is essential to provide healthcare professionals with information about the medication, dosage, and any other relevant details.
What other information should I know?
- Inform your healthcare provider about any other medications, supplements, or herbal products you are taking, as they may interact with Inbrija.
- Discuss any medical conditions you have, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or heart problems, as they may impact the use of Inbrija.
- Inbrija may cause dizziness or sudden sleep episodes. Avoid driving or engaging in activities that require alertness until you know how the medication affects you.
- Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions on how to use Inbrija properly. It is typically inhaled orally and should be taken as needed during “off” episodes.
- Regularly visit your healthcare provider for check-ups to monitor your response to Inbrija and adjust the dosage if needed.
Remember, the information provided here is a general guideline. Always consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for specific instructions and advice regarding the storage, disposal, and use of Inbrija based on your individual circumstances.