Common Name: levodopa - carbidopa
How does Sinemet work?Levodopa and carbidopa are used for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Levodopa helps to control the symptoms of Parkinson's disease by correcting the chemical imbalance in the brain that produces symptoms. Levodopa can be used alone, but adding carbidopa lowers the amount of levodopa that is required and may reduce some of the side effects such as nausea and vomiting that are associated with levodopa. Although levodopa helps relieve symptoms of Parkinson's disease, it does not slow down the progression of the disease. Your doctor may choose to use a medication for conditions other than the ones listed in these drug information articles. If you're unsure why you are taking this medication, contact your doctor.
How should I use Sinemet?Treatment with levodopa - carbidopa should be started slowly and increased gradually to reduce the risk of side effects while gaining maximum benefit from the medication. The recommended starting dose for people not already taking levodopa is 1 tablet levodopa 100 mg - carbidopa 25 mg three times a day. Your doctor will usually increase the dosage by 1 tablet daily every three days until the best results occur with the least amount of side effects. When the daily dose rises above 3 tablets daily, the dose should be divided into four to six daily doses. Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the one above, do not change the way that you are takingthe medication without consulting your doctor. It is very important that this medication be used exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, use it as soon as possible. If it is within two hours of your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on with your regular schedule. Do not double doses. If you miss more than one dose, check with your doctor.
What form(s) does Sinemet come in?Sinemet® CR is available in strengths of 100 mg/25 mg and 200 mg/50 mg. 100 mg/25 mg: Each pink-coloured, oval-shaped tablet, engraved "SINEMET CR" on one side and "601" on the other, contains levodopa 100 mg and carbidopa 25 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: hydroxypropyl cellulose, magnesium stearate, polyvinyl acetate-crotonic acid copolymer, and red ferric oxide. 200 mg/50 mg: Each peach-coloured, oval-shaped, scored tablet, engraved "SINEMET CR" on one side and "521/521" on the other, contains levodopa 200 mg and carbidopa 50 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: D&C Yellow No. 10, hydroxypropyl cellulose, magnesium stearate, polyvinyl acetate-crotonic acid copolymer, and red ferric oxide. This product does not contain gluten or tartrazine.
What should I NOT take with Sinemet?Levodopa - carbidopa should not be used by anyone who: is allergic to levodopa, carbidopa, or any of the ingredients of the medication cannot take sympathomimetic amines (e.g., epinephrine) has used an MAO inhibitor (e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine) within the past two weeks, and MAO inhibitors should not be used within two weeks after taking levodopa - carbidopa has active heart disease, blood related diseases, endocrine disease, liver disease, lung disease, or kidney disease has narrow-angle glaucoma has suspicious undiagnosed skin lesions or a history of melanoma
Are there any other precautions or warnings for Sinemet?Body fluid colour: This medication may cause urine, saliva, and sweat to be darker in colour than usual. The urine may at first be reddish, then turn to nearly black after being exposed to air. This is to be expected during treatment with this medication. Glaucoma: People with chronic wide-angle glaucoma should use this medication with caution, as it may increase pressure inside the eye. High-protein diet: Since levodopa competes with certain amino acids for absorption into the body, the absorption of levodopa may be impaired in some patients on a high-protein diet. Physical activity: People who improve while on therapy with levodopa - carbidopa should increase their physical activities gradually and with caution. Medical conditions: People with epilepsy, peptic ulcer, heart disease, liver disease, blood disorders, or kidney disease should be frequently monitored by their doctor while taking this medication. Side effects: Levodopa - carbidopa may cause involuntary movements and mental disturbances. The occurrence of these side effects may require dosage reduction. There is a possibility of stomach bleeding for people with a history of peptic ulcer who take levodopa - carbidopa. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: If you are or may be pregnant, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication. Levodopa - carbidopa should not be taken by nursing mothers. Children: The safety of levodopa - carbidopa for use by those under 18 years of age has not been established.