Compare Duopa vs. carbidopa / levodopa

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

Duopa
(carbidopa / levodopa)

Sinemet
(carbidopa / levodopa)

Treats advanced stages of Parkinson's disease. Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) pumps carbidopa/levodopa into your body throughout the day. It is reserved for advanced Parkinson's disease when your symptoms become more frequent than the dosing of your tablets.Treats Parkinson's disease. Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) is the first choice treatment for Parkinson's disease.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa)?
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Have you used Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa)?
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Side effects
Duopacarbidopa / levodopa
  • Problems with J-tube 56%
  • Nausea 30%
  • Constipation 22%
  • Redness and swelling at the J-tube site 19%
  • Difficulty controlling movements 14%
  • Depression 11%
  • Discharge at the J-tube site 11%
  • Swelling in the arms and legs 8%
  • High blood pressure 8%
  • Flu and cold 8%
More Duopa side effects »

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

More about carbidopa / levodopa side effects »
How it works
Duopacarbidopa / levodopa
Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) is a combination of carbidopa and levodopa. Carbidopa allows levodopa to enter the brain and relieve symptoms of Parkinson's disease.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.
Type of medication
Duopacarbidopa / levodopa
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
Duopacarbidopa / levodopa
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
Used for
Duopacarbidopa / levodopa
Risk factors for serious side effects
Duopacarbidopa / levodopa
  • Surgery to place the J-tube
  • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's
  • Stopping Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) suddenly
  • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
Detailed Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) risks & warnings »
  • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's
  • Stopping Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) suddenly
  • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
Detailed Sinemet (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.

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.

Pain
Duopacarbidopa / levodopa
  • Call your doctor right away if you start having stomach pains around where the pump is connected.
No pain related info.
Sleep
Duopacarbidopa / levodopa
  • Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) can make you very sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires your full concentration until you know how Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) affects you. You're more at risk if you're taking other medicines for Parkinson's. Talk to your doctor if this bothers you.
  • Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) can make you very sleepy. Don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • 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.
Upsides and benefits
Duopacarbidopa / levodopa
  • Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) allows you to have better control of your symptoms than oral tablets, especially in later stages of Parkinson's disease.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
Duopacarbidopa / levodopa
  • Given via pump so you'll need to have a procedure to attach the pump to your body.
  • You'll need to take good care of the pump so that it doesn't get disconnected or infected.
  • Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) only lasts for 16 hours. You may need to take an extra dose of carbidopa/levodopa as tablet for nighttime control.
  • You need to keep Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) in a fridge, but it should sit at room temperature 20 minutes before infusion.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Duopacarbidopa / levodopa
  • Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) is given via pump. You need to have a minor procedure to connect the pump to your body.
  • You may still need to take carbidopa/levodopa in tablet form at night or if the pump disconnects.
  • Call your doctor right away if you start having stomach pains around where the pump is connected.
  • Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) is only good for 16 hours. Throw out the cassette when the infusion is done even if there's still medicine left inside.
  • Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) can make you very sleepy. Don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Don't stop taking Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) suddenly. It can be very dangerous. Talk to your doctor if you want to stop taking Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa).
  • 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.
Learn more
More about DuopaSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about carbidopa / levodopaSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it