Compare carbidopa / levodopa vs. bromocriptine

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

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Treats Parkinson's disease.

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

Used with other medicines to treat Parkinson's disease, and to stabilize certain hormones.

Parlodel (bromocriptine) is a good medicine to add to other medicines for Parkinson's disease when they start to not work so well.

Upsides
  • 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.
  • Parlodel (bromocriptine) is a good choice to take with other medicines for Parkinson's disease because it raises your dopamine levels differently than others.
  • Parlodel (bromocriptine) is available as generic.
  • Parlodel (bromocriptine) pills can be broken in half for more personalized dosing.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Parlodel (bromocriptine) is only recommended for Parkinson's disease to take with other medicines. It's not a first choice medicine.
  • Your doctor might have to change the dose of Parlodel (bromocriptine) often.
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Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
The Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
9possible side effects
  • Nausea
    18%
  • Constipation
    14%
  • Low blood pressure
    6%
  • Loss of appetite
    4%
  • Dry mouth/stuffy nose
    4%
  • Indigestion
    4%
  • Cold arms/legs
    3%
  • Drowsiness
    3%
  • Vomiting
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Sleepiness
  • Low blood pressure
  • High blood pressure
    • Having high blood pressure
    • Delivering a baby
  • Blood vessel issues
    • Acromegaly (Higher growth hormone in the body)
    • History of stomach ulcers
  • Lack of impulse control
    • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
See more detailed risks and warnings