Compare carbidopa / levodopa vs. carbidopa / levodopa extended release

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

Sinemet
(carbidopa / levodopa)

Sinemet CR
(carbidopa / levodopa extended release)

Treats Parkinson's disease. Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) is the first choice treatment for Parkinson's disease.Treats Parkinson's disease. Sinemet CR (carbidopa / levodopa extended release) is the first choice treatment for Parkinson's disease.
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa)
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say it works well
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say it's a big hassle
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Reviews for Sinemet CR (carbidopa / levodopa extended release)
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Same vs. Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa)
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Side effects
carbidopa / levodopacarbidopa / levodopa extended release

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 17%
  • Nausea 6%
  • Hallucinations 4%
  • Confusion 4%
  • Dizziness 3%
  • Low mood disorder 2%
  • Urinary tract infection 2%
  • Back pain 2%
  • Unusual dreams 2%
  • Muscle spasms 2%
More carbidopa / levodopa extended release side effects »
How it works
carbidopa / levodopacarbidopa / levodopa extended release
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.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.
Type of medication
carbidopa / levodopacarbidopa / levodopa extended release
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
carbidopa / levodopacarbidopa / levodopa extended release
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Extended release
Used for
carbidopa / levodopacarbidopa / levodopa extended release
Risk factors for serious side effects
carbidopa / levodopacarbidopa / levodopa extended release
  • 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 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 »
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 extended release
  • 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.
No sleep related info.
Upsides and benefits
carbidopa / levodopacarbidopa / levodopa extended release
  • 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.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
carbidopa / levodopacarbidopa / levodopa extended release
  • 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.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
carbidopa / levodopacarbidopa / 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about carbidopa / levodopaSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about carbidopa / levodopa extended releaseSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Sinemet CR (carbidopa / levodopa extended release)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it