Compare carbidopa / levodopa extended release vs. Rytary

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

carbidopa / levodopa extended release

Rytary
(carbidopa / levodopa)

Treats Parkinson's disease. Sinemet CR (carbidopa / levodopa extended release) is the first choice treatment for Parkinson's disease.Treats Parkinson's disease. Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) can be used to treat Parkinson's disease, but it can be expensive.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Sinemet CR (carbidopa / levodopa extended release)?
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Have you used Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
carbidopa / levodopa extended releaseRytary
  • Depression 2%
  • Urinary tract infection 2%
  • Headache 2%
  • Unusual dreams 2%
  • Muscle spasms 2%
  • Vomiting 2%
  • Upper respiratory infection 2%
  • Shortness of breath 2%
  • Periods of immobility 2%
  • Back pain 2%
More carbidopa / levodopa extended release side effects »
  • Abnormal dreams 2%
  • Difficulty controlling movements 2%
  • Anxiety 2%
  • Constipation 1%
  • Dry mouth 2%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Nausea 5%
More Rytary side effects »
How it works
carbidopa / levodopa extended releaseRytary
Sinemet CR (carbidopa / levodopa extended release) is a combination of carbidopa and levodopa that is released in your body over time. Carbidopa prevents breakdown of levodopa so that levodopa can then, enter the brain and relieve symptoms of Parkinson's disease.Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) is a combination of carbidopa and levodopa. Levodopa enters the brain and relieves the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Carbidopa prevents levodopa from being broken down before it can enter the brain.
Type of medication
carbidopa / levodopa extended releaseRytary
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyNo lower cost generic available
Available as
carbidopa / levodopa extended releaseRytary
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
Used for
carbidopa / levodopa extended releaseRytary
Risk factors for serious side effects
carbidopa / levodopa extended releaseRytary
  • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's
  • Stopping Sinemet CR (carbidopa / levodopa extended release) suddenly
  • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
Detailed Sinemet CR (carbidopa / levodopa extended release) risks & warnings »
  • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
  • Stopping Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) suddenly
  • History of heart attack
  • High risk for heart attack
Detailed Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Sleep
carbidopa / levodopa extended releaseRytary
No sleep related info.
  • Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) can make you sleepy or fall asleep suddenly without warning. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) affects you. You're more at risk if you're taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease. Talk to your doctor if this bothers you.
Upsides and benefits
carbidopa / levodopa extended releaseRytary
  • Sinemet CR (carbidopa / levodopa extended release) is released over a long period of time in your body and can allow you to take fewer pills less frequently.
  • Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) comes in 4 different strengths.
  • If you have private prescription insurance, there are programs to make Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) more affordable.
Downsides and risks
carbidopa / levodopa extended releaseRytary
  • Sinemet CR (carbidopa / levodopa extended release) can make you very sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how your body reacts to it.
  • Your saliva, sweat and urine may have dark color and stain your clothing while taking Sinemet CR (carbidopa / levodopa extended release).
  • Sinemet CR (carbidopa / levodopa extended release) will lose its effect over time. If you notice it wearing off sooner than you'd like, talk to your doctor.
  • Sinemet CR (carbidopa / levodopa extended release) may cause unusual cravings in some people.
  • There are other forms of Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) that are generic and much cheaper.
  • Your doctor might have to change the dose of Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) often before they find a dose that works for you.
  • Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) can cause uncontrollable movements to happen, but this doesn't happen for 3 to 5 years.
  • Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) is not a cure for Parkinson's disease; it can only slow the disease down.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
carbidopa / levodopa extended releaseRytary
  • Sinemet CR (carbidopa / levodopa extended release) can make you very sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how your body reacts to it.
  • Your saliva, sweat and urine may have dark color and stain your clothing while taking Sinemet CR (carbidopa / levodopa extended release).
  • Take Sinemet CR (carbidopa / levodopa extended release) 30-60 minutes before a meal so that your body can properly absorb it. Don't eat too much high protein foods (meat, milk, cheese or nuts) because doing so can prevent it from getting absorbed into your body.
  • Sinemet CR (carbidopa / levodopa extended release) may cause unusual cravings in some people.
  • If you can't swallow the capsules whole, they can be sprinkled on 1 to 2 tablespoons of applesauce. You have to take it right away.
  • Don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) affects you.
  • You can't switch off other forms of carbidopa/levodopa to Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) without talking to your doctor or pharmacist. They'll tell you how to do it safely.
Learn more
More about carbidopa / levodopa extended releaseSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Sinemet CR (carbidopa / levodopa extended release)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about RytarySide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it