Lowest price carbidopa-levodopa (generic Sinemet) for Parkinson's disease.

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Product Overview

Carbidopa-levodopa (generic Sinemet)

  • What is carbidopa-levodopa?
    Carbidopa-levodopa (generic Sinemet) is a combination of two prescription medications in a single form. It is generally prescribed to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease or Parkinson-like symptoms (such as tremors, stiffness, and slowness of movement).

    Levodopa was developed in the late 1960s and is the most potent medication for Parkinson’s disease. Carbidopa prevents the breakdown of levodopa in the bloodstream, allowing more of it to enter the brain, and also helps to reduce some of levodopa’s side effects (such as nausea and vomiting).

  • What are the most common side effects of carbidopa-levodopa?
    Common side effects associated with carbidopa-levodopa include dizziness and/or lightheadedness, nausea, loss of appetite, headaches, and trouble sleeping or unusual dreams.

    Rarely, more serious side effects may occur, including a fast or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, depression, hallucinations, bloody or black stools, excessive vomiting, dyskinesia, and hives. If you experience a severe adverse reaction to carbidopa-levodopa, contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical help.

    This is not a complete list of side effects. If you’re concerned about side effects from taking carbidopa-levodopa, contact your doctor directly.

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Medically Reviewed by Dr. Allison Edwards, MD

Frequently asked questions about carbidopa-levodopa

What is carbidopa and levodopa?

Carbidopa and levodopa is a combination of prescription medication used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. This combination medication is also used to treat Parkinson-like symptoms that may begin to develop after swelling of the brain (encephalitis) or damage to the nervous system caused by carbon monoxide or manganese poisoning.

The combination of carbidopa and levodopa is available in its generic form or under the brand name Parcopa. These medications are only available via prescription from a licensed health care provider.

What is carbidopa-levodopa used to treat?

The combination of carbidopa and levodopa is prescribed to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and parkinsonism caused by other medical conditions (like encephalitis or carbon monoxide poisoning). While this medication does not directly treat Parkinson’s disease, it helps reduce involuntary movement (tremors), movement difficulty, and balance problems caused by the condition.

Parkinson's disease is a disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement. Symptoms develop slowly over time and vary from person to person. In the early stages of the disease, patients may experience the loss of facial expression, as well as changes in handwriting and speech. Later symptoms frequently include tremors, slowness of movement, limb stiffness, and balance problems.

Damage to the brain and nervous system caused by encephalitis, carbon monoxide poisoning and manganese poisoning can lead to the development of symptoms like those of Parkinson’s disease. This is due to a lack of dopamine in the nervous system. Carbidopa and levodopa help reduce these symptoms by increasing dopamine levels in the body.

How does carbidopa-levodopa work?

Carbidopa and levodopa are two different drugs combined into a single medication. Levodopa works on the nervous system by being converted into dopamine. Dopamine helps control movement. By increasing dopamine levels in the brain, levodopa helps patients with parkinsonism reduce uncontrollable movements (tremors) and muscle spasms caused by this condition.

Carbidopa prevents levodopa from being broken down before it reaches the brain. Not only does this enhance the effects of levodopa, but it means that a lower dose of levodopa is needed for treatment. This can minimize nausea and vomiting side effects caused by large doses of levodopa.

It is important to note that carbidopa and levodopa will not cure parkinsonism or Parkinson’s disease. They help patients who are dealing with these conditions manage their symptoms.

What are the most common side effects of carbidopa-levodopa?

The combination of carbidopa and levodopa has been shown to cause mild side effects in some people. Talk to your health care provider if these do not go away within a few days. If you begin to experience more serious effects, seek medical attention immediately.

Common side effects reported from carbidopa and levodopa use include:
Uncontrollable movements in the face or legs
Dry mouth

This is not a complete list of adverse reactions, although they are among the most common.

Serious side effects include:
Fast or irregular heartbeat
Chest pain
Suicidal thoughts
Difficulty breathing
Black stools
Blood in stool

If you begin to notice any of these early signs, seek medical attention right away. These are symptoms of a serious adverse reaction that requires immediate medical care.

As with all prescription medication, inform your doctor of any medical conditions you are currently managing. Tell them about any and all medication, prescription drugs, and supplements you are taking before starting treatment with carbidopa and levodopa. This medication can interact with substances in the body, causing potentially serious adverse reactions.

Talk to your health care provider about alcohol use while taking this combination medication. Carbidopa and levodopa may interact with alcohol, causing serious side effects.

Finally, let your doctor know if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant before starting treatment with this combination medication. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, inform your health care provider immediately.

How long does it take for carbidopa-levodopa to work?

It may be several months before you experience the full benefits of carbidopa-levodopa. Do not stop taking the medication without consulting your doctor. Carbidopa-levodopa is effective at controlling Parkinson’s disease but does not cure it. You should continue to take it even if you feel well.

What is the typical starting dose of carbidopa-levodopa?

This combination medication is commonly supplied as an extended-release capsule or disintegrating tablet. The specific dosage and form of this medication will depend on your condition, age, and body weight. Take this medication exactly as ordered. Do not increase or discontinue the dosage without consulting with your health care provider first.

Keep all medication bottles out of reach of small children, and at room temperature. Avoid exposing the medication to excess heat or moisture.

If you begin to notice any adverse side effects like those listed above, notify your health care provider immediately.

If you miss a dose of carbidopa and levodopa, take it as soon as you can. If it’s nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

Can I get carbidopa-levodopa over-the-counter?

Carbidopa-levodopa is currently only available via prescription. This means the use of this drug must be authorized by a licensed health care provider.

Providers on Sesame can write a prescription – or refill an existing one – during a virtual or in-person visit. Depending on the medication, you can arrange for same-day pickup at a pharmacy near you or order the medication to be delivered to your door for just $5. Book an online consultation with a real, licensed provider on Sesame today to determine whether or not carbidopa-levodopa is right for you.

Note that all prescriptions are at the discretion of your health care provider. Providers on Sesame cannot prescribe controlled substances.

Can I get carbidopa-levodopa online?

Yes! Sesame offers a fully integrated prescription service, which means you can get the medication you need delivered right to your door, starting at just $5 a month.

Talk to a provider on Sesame and get your online doctor prescription or refill ordered right away for fast and convenient pickup from a pharmacy of your choice.

Note that all prescriptions are at the discretion of your clinician.

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