levodopa - carbidopa
In this drug factsheet:DIN (Drug Identification Number)
|00355658 ||SINEMET 100MG/10MG TABLET|
|00513997 ||SINEMET 100MG/25MG TABLET|
|00328219 ||SINEMET 250MG/25MG TABLET|
How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
This is a combination product containing two medications: levodopa and carbidopa. It is used to treat 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 that are associated with levodopa, such as nausea and vomiting.
Although levodopa helps relieve symptoms of Parkinson's disease, it does not slow down the progression of the disease.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
People who read this article also read about:
How should I use this medication?
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, containing levodopa 100 mg and carbidopa 25 mg, 3 times a day. Your doctor will usually increase the dosage by 1 tablet daily every 3 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 4 to 6 daily doses. The maximum daily dose of levodopa is 1500 mg.
If you have already been taking levodopa and are starting levodopa - carbidopa, the dose will be much lower than the dose of levodopa taken as a single medction.
Many things can affect the dose of a 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 ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
The controlled release (CR tablets) form of this medication should be swallowed whole with fluids. Do not crush or chew the medication as this will destroy the time-release property of the medication.
It is important that this medication be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on with your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice. If you miss more than one dose, check with your doctor.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
100 mg/10 mg
Each light-dapple-blue, round, uncoated tablet, engraved "647" on one side, contains levodopa 100 mg and carbidopa 10 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: crospovidone, hydroxypropylcellulose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinized starch, and FD&C Blue No. 2 Aluminum Lake.
100 mg/25 mg
Each yellow, round, uncoated tablet, engraved "650" on one side, contains levodopa 100 mg and carbidopa 25 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: crospovidone, hydroxypropylcellulose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinized starch, and D&C yellow No. 10 Lake.
250 mg/25 mg
Each light-dapple-blue, oval, uncoated tablet, coded "654" on one side, contains levodopa 250 mg and carbidopa 25 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: crospovidone, hydroxypropylcellulose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinized starch, and FD&C Blue No. 2 Aluminum Lake.
This medication does not contain gluten, lactose, or tartrazine.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take levodopa - carbidopa if you:
- are allergic to levodopa, carbidopa, or any ingredients of the medication
- cannot take sympathomimetic amines (e.g., epinephrine, norepinephrine)
- have active heart disease, blood related diseases, endocrine disease, liver disease, lung disease, or kidney disease
- have narrow-angle glaucoma
- have suspicious undiagnosed skin lesions or a history of melanoma
- have used an MAO inhibitor (e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine) within the past 2 weeks (MAO inhibitors should not be used within 2 weeks after taking levodopa - carbidopa)