Sinemet is a combination of two medications (levodopa and carbidopa), and it is generally prescribed by doctors to treat patients with Parkinson’s disease. It does not affect the course of this disease, but it does treat many of the symptoms associated with it.
How it Works
The mechanism of action for Sinement involves the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Patients with Parkinson’s disease have less than normal levels of dopamine activity. The chemicals in Sinemet work to activate the central dopamine receptors, causing the brain to somewhat stabilize dopamine activity. When this happens, the symptoms associated with abnormally low levels of dopamine are reduced. These include muscle stiffness, spasms, tremors, and impaired muscle control.
Normally, Sinemet is prescribed for patients displaying symptoms typical of Parkinson’s disease. However, this drug has also been used for treating restless legs syndrome (RLS).
This drug comes in tablet form and the precise amount should be determined by a medical professional upon examining the patient. Doses and intervals between doses may then be adjusted according to the response of the patient and their needs. Generally, the immediate-release oral tablet starts with 24-100mg three times a day for an adult, while the sustained-release tablet may begin with 50-200mg twice a day.
Since one or more side effects may occur in certain patients, it is important to be aware of the most frequently reported ones. Milder ones you may observe include:
Increased acidity in stomach
Back or shoulder pain
Diarrhea or difficulty passing stools
These kinds of mild side effects often pass quickly, but if they do not, speak to your physician. If there is a more severe effect observed, contact a medical facility immediately. These kinds of effects may include:
Twitching, repetitive movements
Cloudy or bloody urine
Difficult or painful urination
Difficulty with vision
There may be other side effects not mentioned in the list above. Ask your doctor for more information.
It is possible that certain risks may make you ineligible to take Sinemet. You cannot use Sinemet if you have had an allergic reaction to any of the chemicals in this drug, or if you have narrow-angle glaucoma. You should not take this medication if you are currently using reserpine or tetrabenazine. If you have taken an MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor) within the past two weeks, you should not be consuming this drug.
Make sure to tell your doctor about all previous and current physical and psychological conditions, and about any prescription or recreational drug use. You must also mention if you are pregnant, planning to be pregnant, or need to breastfeed a baby.
It is important that you disclose all this information and discuss the matter with your doctor to know if it is safe to take the drug. Do not change dosage without first asking a doctor if you can.
Store the drug away from heat, light, or moisture, and ever keep it in a bathroom. Keep it in room temperature and away from pets or children.