Movement Disorders

Medical Treatments - Sinemet

Sinemet is one of the most widely prescribed treatments for Parkinson's Disease.  It has two main active ingredients: Levodopa and Carbidopa.

Levodopa is a substance that is converted to Dopamine in the brain.  It is believed that the symptoms of Parkinson's are caused by a lack of dopamine " a naturally occurring chemical produced in the brain.  Difficulty in movement results when too little Dopamine is produced.

Carbidopa helps prevent levodopa from being broken down in the gut, liver and other tissues.  This allows more levodopa to reach the brain and also helps prevent nausea and vomiting.

Sinemet is available in 3 separate dosing forms.

Things to Know

  1. Take Sinemet 45 minutes before or one hour after a high protein meal (preferably after). Protein can adversely affect the function of Sinemet.
  2. Let your doctor and pharmacist know of any other medications you may take: in particular antacids, anti-seizure medication, anti-hypertensives and anti-depressants. (Especially antidepressants that are MAO inhibitors " Nardil and Parnate)
  3. The most common side effects you may experience include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, feeling of lightheadedness when standing quickly, dizziness, sleepiness.
  4. Sinemet may turn your urine, sweat or saliva a dark color (dark brown or red).  This is not harmful.
  5. If you experience dyskinesias " spontaneous, involuntary movements " let us or neurologist know.  You may need to decrease the dose.

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