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Carbidopa Levodopa

Carbidopa Levodopa

Descriptions

Carbidopa and levodopa combination is used to treat Parkinson's disease, sometimes called shaking palsy or paralysis agitans. Parkinson's disease is a disorder of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).

Extended-release carbidopa and levodopa (Rytary®) is also used to treat parkinsonism caused by encephalitis, or parkinsonism caused by carbon monoxide or manganese poisoning.

Dopamine is a naturally occurring substance in the brain that helps provide control of movement and activities such as walking and talking. In patients with Parkinson's disease, there is not enough dopamine in some parts of the brain. Levodopa enters the brain and helps replace the missing dopamine, which allows people to function better. By increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain, levodopa helps control symptoms and helps you to perform daily activities such as dressing, walking, and handling utensils.

Uses

This combination medication is used to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease or Parkinson-like symptoms (such as shakiness, stiffness, difficulty moving). Parkinson's disease is thought to be caused by too little of a naturally occurring substance (dopamine) in the brain. Levodopa changes into dopamine in the brain, helping to control movement. Carbidopa prevents the breakdown of levodopa in the bloodstream so more levodopa can enter the brain. Carbidopa can also reduce some of levodopa's side effects such as nausea and vomiting.

How should this medicine be used?

The combination of levodopa and carbidopa comes as a regular tablet, an orally disintegrating tablet, an extended-release tablet, and an extended-release capsule to take by mouth. The combination of levodopa and carbidopa also comes as a suspension (liquid) to be given into your stomach through a PEG-J tube  using a special infusion pump. The regular and orally disintegrating tablets are usually taken three or four times a day. The extended-release tablet is usually taken two to four times a day. The extended-release capsule is usually taken three to five times a day. The suspension is usually given as a morning dose and then as a continuous dose (given by infusion over 16 hours), with extra doses given no more than once every 2 hours as needed to control your symptoms. Take levodopa and carbidopa at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take levodopa and carbidopa exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Common Side Effects of Sinemet

Tell your doctor if any of the following side effects become severe or don't go away:

  • Change in taste
  • Confusion or forgetfulness
  • Nervousness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Abnormal dreams or nightmares

Serious Side Effects of Sinemet

  • Fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
  • Unusual or uncontrollable movements of the tongue, mouth, face, head, neck, arms, and legs
  • Depression or suicidal thoughts
  • Hallucinations
  • Hoarseness
  • Swelling of the face, throat, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Hives
  • Black and tarry stools
  • Bloody stools
  • Bloody vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds

Dosage

Sinemet Overdose

If you suspect an overdose, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.

You can get in touch with a poison control center at 800-222-1222.

Missed Dose of Sinemet

If you miss a dose of Sinemet, take it as soon as you remember.

However, if it's almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on your regular dosing schedule.

Don't take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

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