Compare carbidopa / levodopa vs. carbidopa / levodopa / entacapone

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

Sinemet
(carbidopa / levodopa)

Stalevo
(carbidopa / levodopa / entacapone)

Treats Parkinson's disease. Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) is the first choice treatment for Parkinson's disease.Treats Parkinson's disease. Stalevo (carbidopa / levodopa / entacapone) is a good choice for Parkinson's disease, especially when carbidopa/levodopa starts losing its effect.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa)?
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Have you used Stalevo (carbidopa / levodopa / entacapone)?
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Side effects
carbidopa / levodopacarbidopa / levodopa / entacapone

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

More about carbidopa / levodopa side effects »
  • Difficulty controlling movements 10%
  • Muscle spasm 5%
  • Changes in urine color 10%
  • Discolored urine 10%
  • Muscle rigidity 1%
  • Abdominal pain 4%
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Fatigue 2%
  • Constipation 2%
More carbidopa / levodopa / entacapone side effects »
How it works
carbidopa / levodopacarbidopa / levodopa / entacapone
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.Stalevo (carbidopa / levodopa / entacapone) is a combination of carbidopa, levodopa, and entacapone. Entacopone and carbidopa prevent breakdown of levodopa in the body so that levodopa can then enter the brain and relieve symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
Type of medication
carbidopa / levodopacarbidopa / levodopa / entacapone
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
carbidopa / levodopacarbidopa / levodopa / entacapone
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
Used for
carbidopa / levodopacarbidopa / levodopa / entacapone
Risk factors for serious side effects
carbidopa / levodopacarbidopa / levodopa / entacapone
  • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's
  • Stopping Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) suddenly
  • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
Detailed Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) risks & warnings »
  • History of stomach ulcers
Detailed Stalevo (carbidopa / levodopa / entacapone) 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 / levodopacarbidopa / levodopa / entacapone
  • Can make you very sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how your body reacts to it.
  • Can make you very sleepy.
No sleep related info.
Upsides and benefits
carbidopa / levodopacarbidopa / levodopa / entacapone
  • 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.
  • It combines three medicines into one pill so you don't have to take so many pills daily.
  • Stalevo (carbidopa / levodopa / entacapone) is available as a generic.
Downsides and risks
carbidopa / levodopacarbidopa / levodopa / entacapone
  • 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.
  • You would first start by taking Stalevo (carbidopa / levodopa / entacapone) as two different pills, carbidopa/levodopa and entacapone, before you get switched over to Stalevo (carbidopa / levodopa / entacapone).
  • It's less customizable since there are only a few fixed combinations available.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
carbidopa / levodopacarbidopa / levodopa / entacapone
  • 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.
  • Stalevo (carbidopa / levodopa / entacapone) 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 Stalevo (carbidopa / levodopa / entacapone).
  • Take Stalevo (carbidopa / levodopa / entacapone) 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.
  • Stalevo (carbidopa / levodopa / entacapone) may cause unusual cravings in some people.
Learn more
More about carbidopa / levodopaSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about carbidopa / levodopa / entacaponeSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Stalevo (carbidopa / levodopa / entacapone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it