Levodopa (L-DOPA) was first isolated from seedlings of Vicia faba by Marcus Guggenheim in 1913. Levodopa, a dopamine precursor, is an effective and well-tolerated dopamine replacement agent used to treat Parkinson's disease. Oral levodopa has been widely used for over 40 years, often in combination with a dopa-decarboxylase inhibitor carbidopa, which reduces many treatment complications, extending its half-life and increasing levodopa availability to the brain. Entacapone, a catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitor, can also be used to improve the bioavailability of levodopa, especially when used in conjunction with a carbidopa. NCATS
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