Compare carbidopa / levodopa vs. Mirapex

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

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Mirapex (pramipexole)

Prescription only
Treats Parkinson's disease.

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

Helps with movement problems.

Mirapex (pramipexole) is effective for Parkinson's disease or restless legs syndrome, but can cause extreme drowsiness that affects daily living.

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.
  • Mirapex (pramipexole) may be better for older people with Parkinson's since it causes fewer movement and mental changes than its alternatives.
  • Mirapex (pramipexole) comes in extended-release form to help reduce side effects and ease administration.
  • Available as a generic so it will be cheaper than similar brand medications.
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.
  • Mirapex (pramipexole) can be used by itself, but is usually used in combination with other medications to treat Parkinson's.
  • Not the best choice if you have kidney problems.
  • You cannot suddenly stop taking Mirapex (pramipexole) if you have been taking it for a long time.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Extended release
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.
36possible side effects
  • Postural hypotension
    53%
  • Muscle rigidity
    47%
  • Extrapyramidal syndrome
    28%
  • Insomnia
    27%
  • Dizziness
    26%
  • Hallucinations
    17%
  • Accidental injury
    17%
  • Dream abnormalities
    11%
  • Confusion
    10%
  • Muscle weakness
    10%
  • Constipation
    10%
  • Sleepiness
    9%
  • Muscle problems
    8%
  • Gait abnormalities
    7%
  • Muscle tenseness
    7%
  • Dry mouth
    7%
  • Memory loss
    6%
  • Urinary frequency
    6%
  • General swelling
    4%
  • Urinary tract infection
    4%
  • Shortness of breath
    4%
  • Accomodation abnormalities
    4%
  • Restlessness
    3%
  • Thinking abnormalities
    3%
  • Chest pain
    3%
  • Malaise
    3%
  • Runny nose
    3%
  • Vision abnormalities
    3%
  • Arthritis
    3%
  • Paranoid reaction
    2%
  • Urinary incontinence
    2%
  • Lung infection
    2%
  • Twitching
    2%
  • Swelling of joints
    2%
  • Peripheral swelling
    2%
  • Skin disorders
    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
  • Impulse control problems
  • Problems with concentration
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you sleepy
    • Sleep disorders
  • Low blood pressure
    • Taking blood pressure medicines
  • Kidney problems
    • Kidney problems
  • Skin cancer
    • Parkinson's disease
  • Hallucinations and behavior changes
    • Age 65 years or older
    • History of psychosis
    • Advanced Parkinson's disease
See more detailed risks and warnings