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Sinemet CR

Generic Name: Carbidopa and Levodopa Sustained-Release Tablets (KAR bi DOE pa/LEE voe DOE pa)
Brand Name: Sinemet CR

Medically reviewed on April 4, 2018.

Uses of Sinemet CR:

  • It is used to treat Parkinson's disease.
  • It is used to treat signs like Parkinson's disease caused by other health problems.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Sinemet CR?

  • If you have an allergy to levodopa, carbidopa, or any other part of Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets).
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Glaucoma, a skin lump or growth, or a history of skin cancer.
  • If you are taking any of these drugs: Reserpine or tetrabenazine.
  • If you have taken certain drugs used for low mood (depression) like isocarboxazid, phenelzine, or tranylcypromine or drugs used for Parkinson's disease like selegiline or rasagiline in the last 14 days. Taking Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets) within 14 days of those drugs can cause very bad high blood pressure.
  • If you are taking another drug that has the same drug in it.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets).

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Sinemet CR?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets) affects you.
  • To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, rise slowly if you have been sitting or lying down. Be careful going up and down stairs.
  • This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets).
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with your doctor about which glucose tests are best to use.
  • Have your eye pressure checked. Talk with your doctor.
  • This medicine may "wear off" as the time for your next dose gets closer. Tell your doctor if this happens and it bothers you.
  • Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol or use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
  • The chance of a type of skin cancer called melanoma may be raised in people with Parkinson's disease. It is not known if Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets) may also raise the chance. Have skin exams while you take Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets). Talk with your doctor.
  • Some products may cause a dark red, brown, or black color to appear in your saliva, urine, or sweat. This is not harmful but may discolor your clothes.
  • Some people have fallen asleep during activities like driving, eating, or talking. Some people did not feel sleepy and felt alert right before falling asleep. This has happened up to 1 year after Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets) was started. If you fall asleep during activities, do not drive or do other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert while you take Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets). Call your doctor right away if this happens or you feel very sleepy.
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a very bad and sometimes deadly health problem that has happened when Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets) was stopped all of a sudden. NMS has also happened when the dose of Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets) was lowered. Call your doctor right away if you have any fever, muscle cramps or stiffness, dizziness, very bad headache, confusion, change in thinking, fast heartbeat, heartbeat that does not feel normal, or are sweating a lot.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets) while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

How is this medicine (Sinemet CR) best taken?

Use Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take with or without food.
  • Swallow whole. Do not chew or crush.
  • Some products may be broken in half. Do not chew or crush. Talk with your pharmacist or doctor.
  • If you take an iron product or a multivitamin that has iron, ask your doctor or pharmacist how to take it with Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets). Iron may lower how well your body is able to absorb Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets).
  • Diets high in protein, fat, or calories may lower how well your body absorbs Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets); tell your doctor if you have a diet like this or if you will be changing your diet. Talk with your doctor.
  • Do not stop taking Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets) all of a sudden or lower your dose without calling your doctor. Side effects may happen. Talk with your doctor.
  • Take even during sign-free periods.
  • Keep a diary of your signs.
  • Keep taking Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets) as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • Take Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets) at the same time of day.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
  • Change in the way you act.
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
  • Feeling confused.
  • Strong urges that are hard to control (such as eating, gambling, sex, or spending money).
  • A skin lump or growth.
  • Change in color or size of a mole.
  • Trouble controlling body movements that is new or worse.
  • Throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Belly pain.
  • Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Sore throat.
  • Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Very bad headache.
  • Dark urine or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Change in eyesight, eye pain, or very bad eye irritation.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.

What are some other side effects of Sinemet CR?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Bad dreams.
  • Hard stools (constipation).
  • Dizziness.
  • Feeling sleepy.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Headache.
  • Not able to sleep.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Sinemet CR?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Protect from light.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Sinemet CR (carbidopa and levodopa sustained-release tablets), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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