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How long does it take for Rytary to start working?

Medically reviewed by Melisa Puckey, BPharm. Last updated on Feb 13, 2023.

Official answer

  • Rytary starts working for Parkinson's symptoms in about an hour, and blood levels stay high for 4 to 5 hours before they start to decrease.
  • If you take Rytary with a high-fat, high-calorie meal it can delay the absorption of levodopa which means that improvement of Parkinson’s symptoms will start up two hours later than you would expect.
  • If you have a high protein meal it can cause less levodopa to be absorbed.

Rytary contains the two medicines carbidopa and levodopa which are used to treat Parkinson’s symptoms.

  • Rytary is an extended release capsule that contains microbeads of carbidopa-levodopa that dissolve at different rates.
  • One third of the beads dissolve fast and two thirds of the beads dissolve slowly.
  • This means that when you take the capsule it starts to work quickly due to the fast dissolving beads and works for a longer time due to the slow dissolving beads.

Other brands of medicines containing carbidopa and levodopa will be different in the time they take to start working and for how long they last. These differences are due how the medicines have been made and whether they are a fast release or controlled release formulation.
As Rytary contains two types of microbeads it has a fast onset of action and also lasts a long time.

For more information on Rytary click here: Rytary: 7 things you should know


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