Compare Mirapex vs. carbidopa / levodopa

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

Mirapex (Pramipexole)

Prescription only
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.

Treats Parkinson's disease.

Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) is the first choice treatment for Parkinson's disease.

Upsides
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
45possible side effects
  • Postural hypotension
    53%
  • Dyskinesia
    47%
  • Extrapyramidal syndrome
    28%
  • Insomnia
    27%
  • Dizziness
    26%
  • Accidental injury
    17%
  • Hallucinations
    17%
  • Any side effect
    12%
  • Dream abnormalities
    11%
  • Nausea
    11%
  • Asthenia
    10%
  • Constipation
    10%
  • Confusion
    10%
  • Somnolence
    9%
  • Hallucinations, including visual, auditory and mixed
    9%
  • Dystonia
    8%
  • Dry mouth
    7%
  • Gait abnormalities
    7%
  • Hypertonia
    7%
  • Headache
    7%
  • Amnesia
    6%
  • Urinary frequency
    6%
  • Anorexia
    5%
  • General edema
    4%
  • Dyspnea
    4%
  • Accommodation abnormalities
    4%
  • Urinary tract infection
    4%
  • Chest pain
    3%
  • Malaise
    3%
  • Arthritis
    3%
  • Akathisia
    3%
  • Thinking abnormalities
    3%
  • Rhinitis
    3%
  • Vision abnormalities
    3%
  • Dizziness (postural)
    3%
  • Back pain
    3%
  • Peripheral edema
    2%
  • Twitching
    2%
  • Bursitis
    2%
  • Paranoid reaction
    2%
  • Pneumonia
    2%
  • Skin disorders
    2%
  • Urinary incontinence
    2%
  • Salivary hypersecretion
    2%
  • Diarrhea
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Impulse control problems
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Low blood pressure
    • Taking blood pressure-lowering medicines
  • Worsening kidney function
    • Current kidney problems
  • Skin cancer
    • Parkinson's disease
  • Hallucinations
    • Age 65 years or older
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Falling asleep during the day
    • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's
  • High fever and confusion
    • Stopping Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) suddenly
  • Changes in behavior
  • Lack of impulse control
    • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
  • Changes in blood pressure and falls
See more detailed risks and warnings