Compare carbidopa / levodopa vs. Mirapex

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

Sinemet
(carbidopa / levodopa)

Mirapex
(pramipexole)

Treats Parkinson's disease. Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) is the first choice treatment for Parkinson's disease.Helps with movement problems. Mirapex (Pramipexole) is an effective medicine for Parkinson's disease or restless leg syndrome, but there are potentially serious side effects.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Mirapex (pramipexole)?
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Side effects
carbidopa / levodopaMirapex

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

More about carbidopa / levodopa side effects »
  • Any side effect 1%
  • Hallucinations 3%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Drowsiness 2%
  • Nausea 2%
  • Sleep difficulty 5%
  • Constipation 8%
  • Muscle weakness 2%
  • Positional low blood pressure 5%
More Mirapex side effects »
How it works
carbidopa / levodopaMirapex
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.Mirapex (Pramipexole) is a dopamine agonist. It binds to receptors in the brain and helps improve movement in people with Parkinson's disease or restless leg syndrome.
Type of medication
carbidopa / levodopaMirapex
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
carbidopa / levodopaMirapex
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for
carbidopa / levodopaMirapex
Risk factors for serious side effects
carbidopa / levodopaMirapex
  • 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 with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Taking blood pressure-lowering medicines
  • Current kidney problems
  • Parkinson's disease
Detailed Mirapex (pramipexole) 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.

Food
carbidopa / levodopaMirapex
No food related info.
  • Take Mirapex (Pramipexole) with food if it makes you feel nauseous.
Kidneys and liver
carbidopa / levodopaMirapex
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Mirapex (Pramipexole) is processed by the kidney. If you have kidney problems, talk to your doctor because you may need a different dose.
  • Not the best choice if you have kidney problems. Your doctor may have to adjust your dose based on your kidney function.
Sleep
carbidopa / levodopaMirapex
  • 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 / levodopaMirapex
  • 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.
  • In studies, Mirapex (Pramipexole) when taken by itself or with other medicines, was effective in lowering movement fluctuations for people with Parkinson's disease.
  • Mirapex (Pramipexole) is sometimes preferred over other medicines that treat Parkinson's disease in older people since it causes fewer movement and mental fluctuations.
  • Is effective for treating restless leg syndrome.
  • Available in a short-acting and a long-acting form.
Downsides and risks
carbidopa / levodopaMirapex
  • 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.
  • Mirapex (Pramipexole) isn't a first-choice treatment for Parkinson's disease. It can be used by itself, but it's usually used with other medicines.
  • Mirapex (Pramipexole) can cause hallucinations in older people.
  • Not the best choice if you have kidney problems. Your doctor may have to adjust your dose based on your kidney function.
  • You can't suddenly stop taking Mirapex (Pramipexole). You'll have to slowly lower your dose, especially if you've been using it for a long time.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
carbidopa / levodopaMirapex
  • 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.
  • You should start Mirapex (Pramipexole) at a low dose and your doctor will raise the dose slowly. This will help lower your risk of side effects, such as drowsiness and low blood pressure.
  • Can cause intense urges and compulsive behaviors that are hard to control, such as binge eating, gambling, and sexual urges. Talk to your doctor right away if you have any of these feelings.
  • You can suddenly fall asleep without warning while on this medicine. Don't perform any tasks that require mental alertness, like driving, or drinking alcohol until you know how Mirapex (Pramipexole) affects you. Let your doctor know if you have a history of sleep problems.
  • Take Mirapex (Pramipexole) 2 to 3 hours before bedtime for restless leg syndrome.
  • Take Mirapex (Pramipexole) with food if it makes you feel nauseous.
Learn more
More about carbidopa / levodopaSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about MirapexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Mirapex (pramipexole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it