Generic Name(s): CARBIDOPA/LEVODOPA
Drug Class: Combination of carbidopa and levodopa
Treats: Symptoms of Parkinson
Sinemet combines two drugs together which are cardibopa and levodopa. This combination, known as Sinemet is prescribed by doctors to address symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Many doctors are of the opinion the lack of a naturally occurring substance known as dopamine causes this debilitating condition. Levodopa is converted to dopamine in the brain, and this aids in controlling the movements. Cardibopa prevents the breakdown of levodopa so that most of it gets to the brain.
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Sinemet is used mainly for the treatment of symptoms of Parkinson's disease as well as addressing symptoms similar to those of Parkinson's disease. These symptoms include tremors, slow movements and stiffness. Parkinson's-like symptoms usually develop after swelling of the brain and injury to the nervous system. A doctor may prescribe Sinemet on its own or in combination with other drugs for the treatment of these symptoms.
The combination medicine Sinemet dose will be prescribed by a doctor and it comes as a regular tablet that is administered orally. Sinemet also comes in the form extended-release or long acting tablets taken by mouth.
- A doctor will prescribe a dose of Sinemet to be taken 3 or 4 times per day
- The extended-release tablet is normally taken 2 to 4 times per day
- Patients are advised to take Sinemet medicine exactly as directed by the physician and preferably at the same time every single day
- The extended-release tablets should be swallowed whole and should not be chewed, crushed or split
Sinemet Side Effects
It is possible that patients may suffer Sinemet side effects. Not all patients suffer all the possible side effects and Sinemet will affect patients differently. Serious side effects and any allergic reactions to Sinemet should be reported to the physician at once. Mild to moderate Sinemet symptoms should go away after a few days. Patients should inform the doctor if these persist for more than a week. Some of the common Sinemet side effects include:
- Dizziness, vomiting, nausea
- Loss of appetite
- dry mouth
- Change in taste
- Trouble sleeping
- Increased sweating
- feeling nervous
Some of the serious Sinemet side effects that will require immediate medical attention include:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Red blood in stools, black, tarry stool
- blood in vomit
- Swelling on face, tongue, lips, ankles and lower legs
Drug interactions affect the way drugs work and in some cases may render the drug ineffective. Sometimes Sinemet interactions may lead to a serious allergic reaction so it is advisable to be very careful about other medicines a patient takes when Sinemet is prescribed. Keeping a list of all medicines and drugs and all other products a patient uses is important. This list can then be shared with the doctor or pharmacist to check for any possible Sinemet interactions. MAO inhibitors should not be taken when taking Sinemet. A serious and possibly fatal reaction Sinemet interaction may result. MAO inhibitors include:
Other products that may cause a moderate to serious Sinemet interaction include:
- Tri-cyclic antidepressants
- Iron salts