Compare carbidopa / levodopa vs. Symmetrel

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 Parkinson's disease, the flu, and side effects from antipsychotic drugs.

Symmetrel (amantadine) is a generic medicine that can be used alone, or with other medicines to treat early Parkinson's disease.

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.
  • Symmetrel (amantadine) can be taken by itself or with other medicines to treat the symptoms of early Parkinson's disease, including muscle spasms, tremors, and difficulty with movements.
  • Symmetrel (amantadine) is available in generic and in both a pill and liquid form.
  • Compared to other medicines for Parkinson's disease, the side effects are relatively mild.
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.
  • Symmetrel (amantadine) sometimes has to be taken multiple times a day.
  • Symmetrel (amantadine) can’t stop or cure Parkinson's disease. It can only slow down the progression.
  • You can't take certain forms of the flu vaccine if you're taking Symmetrel (amantadine). Talk to your doctor before receiving vaccines.
  • You can't stop taking Symmetrel (amantadine) suddenly without talking to your doctor since your Parkinson's can get worse.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Liquid
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.
The Symmetrel (amantadine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
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
  • Deaths from overdosage
    • Kidney damage or failure
  • Higher risk of suicide
    • Taking Symmetrel (amantadine) for the flu
  • Higher risk of seizures
    • History of seizures
  • Heart failure
    • Heart failure
    • History of swelling in the arms or legs
  • Lack of impulse control
    • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
See more detailed risks and warnings