Compare carbidopa / levodopa vs. Duopa

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.

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.

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.
  • Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) allows you to have better control of your symptoms than oral tablets, especially in later stages of Parkinson's disease.
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.
  • 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.
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Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
Price
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Side effects
The Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
26possible side effects
  • 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%
  • Sore throat
    8%
  • Collapsed lung
    8%
  • Confusion
    8%
  • Anxiety
    8%
  • Dizziness
    8%
  • Hiatal hernia
    8%
  • Intestinal blockage
    5%
  • Sleep problems
    5%
  • Fever
    5%
  • Scar tissue
    5%
  • Rash
    5%
  • Urinary tract infection
    5%
  • Hallucinations
    5%
  • Psychotic disorder
    5%
  • Diarrhea
    5%
  • Indigestion
    5%
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
  • Stomach problems
    • Surgery to place the J-tube
  • Falling asleep during the day
    • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's
  • High fever and confusion
    • Stopping Duopa (carbidopa / levodopa) suddenly
  • Changes in behavior
  • Lack of impulse control
    • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
See more detailed risks and warnings