Compare carbidopa / levodopa vs. Apokyn

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

Sinemet
(carbidopa / levodopa)

Apokyn
(apomorphine)

Treats Parkinson's disease. Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) is the first choice treatment for Parkinson's disease.Helps you move around. Apokyn (apomorphine) is good for treating the "off" episodes or difficulty moving around when you have advanced Parkinson's disease, but it can cause vomiting and sudden sleepiness.
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Prices and coupon for 90 (25mg/100mg) tablets of carbidopa / levodopa
Coupons for
Prices and coupon for 20 (3ml of 30mg/3ml) cartridges of apomorphine
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Apokyn (apomorphine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
carbidopa / levodopaApokyn

The carbidopa / levodopa FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about carbidopa / levodopa side effects »
  • Yawning 40%
  • Movement problems 24%
  • Drowsiness or sleepiness 35%
  • Nausea or vomiting 19%
  • Dizziness 20%
  • Runny nose 20%
  • Chest pain 15%
  • Hallucinations 10%
  • Swelling in arms and legs 10%
More Apokyn side effects »
How it works
carbidopa / levodopaApokyn
Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) is a combination of carbidopa and levodopa. Carbidopa prevents breakdown of levodopa allowing it to enter the brain and relieve symptoms of Parkinson's disease.Apokyn (apomorphine) is a non-ergoline dopamine agonist. Apokyn (apomorphine) allows you to move around more freely by stimulating the brain's ability to use dopamine, which is important for movement.
Type of medication
carbidopa / levodopaApokyn
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
carbidopa / levodopaApokyn
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Injection
Used for
carbidopa / levodopaApokyn
Risk factors for serious side effects
carbidopa / levodopaApokyn
  • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's
  • Stopping Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) suddenly
    • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
      Detailed Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) risks & warnings »
        • Taking antipsychotic medicines
        • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
        • History of heart disease or stroke
            Detailed Apokyn (apomorphine) 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.

            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 / levodopaApokyn
            • Can make you very sleepy.
            • Can make you very sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how your body reacts to it.
            • Apokyn (apomorphine) can make you sleepy or fall asleep without warning. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
            • Apokyn (apomorphine) can make you sleepy or fall asleep suddenly without warning. Don't drive or do anything that requires your full concentration until you know how Apokyn (apomorphine) affects you. You're more at risk if you're taking other medicines for Parkinson's. Talk to your doctor if this bothers you.
            Upsides and benefits
            carbidopa / levodopaApokyn
            • Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) is widely available as a regular pill, a quick dissolving pill or a liquid taken through a feeding tube.
            • Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) is available in generic.
            • Preferred drug according to the guidelines to treat the "off" periods or inability to control movements well that's associated with Parkinson's.
            • People respond to the injection of Apokyn (apomorphine) very quickly and this response can last longer than other medicines.
            Downsides and risks
            carbidopa / levodopaApokyn
            • Can make you very sleepy.
            • Can stain your saliva, sweat and urine a dark color.
            • Will lose its effect over time as your disease progresses.
            • May need to be taken several times during day to control symptoms of Parkinson's disease
            • May cause unusual cravings in some people.
            • Can cause vomiting and sudden sleepiness. Your doctor will have to give you a medicine to stop the vomiting from happening.
            • Apokyn (apomorphine) should only be used if you have an "off" period of moving around. You should keep using your other medicines for your Parkinson's.
            • Dosing can be confusing since the pen only dispenses in milliliters, and there have been reports of people getting overdoses of Apokyn (apomorphine) because they thought it was for milligrams.
            • Stopping Apokyn (apomorphine) suddenly or lowering the dose too quickly can cause your muscles to become very stiff and you might get a very high fever, which can be life threatening. Talk to your doctor if you want to stop taking this medicine.
            Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
            carbidopa / levodopaApokyn
            • Can make you very sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how your body reacts to it.
            • Can stain your saliva, sweat and urine a dark color.
            • Take Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) 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.
            • If you notice Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) wearing off sooner than you'd like, talk to your doctor. How much and how often you take it may need to be adjusted.
            • Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) may cause unusual cravings in some people.
            • Apokyn (apomorphine) can cause nausea, so your doctor will give you medicine to help stop that and vomiting.
            • Your doctor will tell you how much Apokyn (apomorphine) you will inject. This is given in milliliters. Turn the pen so that the correct dose is given.
            • Apokyn (apomorphine) can make you sleepy or fall asleep without warning. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
            • Always change where you inject Apokyn (apomorphine) and always use a fresh needle every time. This will make injecting safer and less painful.
            • If the liquid inside the Apokyn (apomorphine) cartridge does not look clear and colorless, don't use it. Use a new cartridge or call your pharmacy.
            • Can cause you to feel faint, especially if you get up after sitting or lying down for a while. Be careful moving around after you use Apokyn (apomorphine) so you don't fall.
            Learn more
            More about carbidopa / levodopaSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
            Have you used Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa)?
            Worth itNot sureNot worth it
            More about ApokynSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
            Have you used Apokyn (apomorphine)?
            Worth itNot sureNot worth it