Medical Surgical Parkinson’s Disease PD #3


A client with Parkinson’s disease is prescribed carbidopa-levodopa. What is the most important complication to monitor during the initial phase of medication adjustment?


  1. Jaundice
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because although liver function tests are monitored, this would not likely occur to the extent of having jaundice during the early stages of medication adjustment. Also, acute liver injury with carbidopa-levodopa is rare.

  2. Vital signs
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because vital signs should be monitored when adjusting to the medication since orthostatic hypotension may occur with dizziness, cardiac arrhythmia, and palpitations. Dopamine agonists reduce blood pressure. Risk of postural hypotension increases with carbidopa levodopa.

  3. Glucose
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because it is not the most important complication. Studies have shown a link between Parkinsons and insulin resistance that potentially affect dopamine-secreting neurons. Nevertheless, it is not the priority complication to monitor the client for during the phase of medication adjustment.

  4. Monitor for weight gain.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because weight gain usually does not occur with this drug. Loss of appetite is a potential side effect, and may result in weight loss.


Carbidopa-levodopa is a mediation prescribed to clients with Parkinson’s disease. It can decrease the blood pressure so the client’s vital signs need to be monitored carefully.


Learning Outcomes

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system resulting in various movement problems, including weakness, stiffness, balance issues, tremors, and slow movement (bradykinesia). Parkinson’s clients have a deficit in dopamine. Dopamine is responsible for smooth motor control. Carbidopa-levodopa, a decarboxylase inhibitor, is prescribed for PD and works by boosting dopamine production in the brain. The client’s vital signs should be carefully checked because carbidopa-levodopa can lower the blood pressure. Assessing for therapeutic response and monitoring vitals and side effects are indicative with a client taking carbidopa-levodopa.

Test Taking Tip

Understanding that Parkinson’s disease is about the client being low in dopamine. You can think about a person going to the “park” to smoke dope because they need dope (dopamine).

Video Rationale