Carbidopa; Levodopa sustained-release tablets
What do carbidopa-levodopa sustained-release tablets do?
CARBIDOPA-LEVODOPA (Sinemet(R) CR) is used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Levodopa can help correct an imbalance of chemicals in the brain caused by Parkinson’s disease. Levodopa will not cure Parkinson’s disease, but will help to control the symptoms. Carbidopa helps levodopa work better, and this can decrease some side effects, such as nausea. Sustained-release tablets slowly release the medicine over 4 to 6 hours. Generic carbidopa-levodopa sustained-release tablets are available.
What should my health care professional know before I take carbidopa-levodopa?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
• asthma or lung disease
• depression or other mental illness
• heart disease, including history of a heart attack
• irregular heart beat
• kidney disease
• liver disease
• melanoma or suspicious skin lesions
• seizure disorder
• stomach or intestinal ulcers
• an unusual or allergic reaction to levodopa, carbidopa, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
• pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I take this medicine?
Take carbidopa-levodopa tablets by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets (either whole or half) with a glass of water; do not crush or chew the tablets. It is best to take carbidopa-levodopa on an empty stomach, either 30 minutes before you eat or 1 hour after you eat. If the medicine upsets your stomach, you can take it with a cracker or fruit. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking this medicine without talking with your health care provider.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is less than 2 hours to your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses. Try not to miss a dose; it is important to keep your regular dosing schedule.
What other medicines can interact with carbidopa-levodopa?
• isoniazid, INH
• iron supplements
• medicines for high blood pressure
• medicines for depression, avoid those called MAO inhibitors-phenelzine (Nardil(R)), tranylcypromine (Parnate(R)), isocarboxazid (Marplan(R))
• medicines for mental problems and psychotic disturbances
• s-adenosyl-l-methionine, SAM-e
• water pills
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines that you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from taking carbidopa-levodopa?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
• difficulty passing urine
• dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting spells
• fast or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
• mental depression
• mood changes such as aggressive behavior or hallucinations
• stomach pain
• uncontrolled movements of the mouth, head, hands, feet, shoulders, eyelids or other unusual muscle movements
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
• anxiety, confusion, or nervousness
• dark color (brown, red, or black) of saliva, urine or sweat
• loss of appetite
• muscle twitches
• nightmares, trouble sleeping
• unusual tiredness or weakness