Sinemet has a combination of drugs that helps in treating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease or symptoms similar to Parkinson, like stiffness, moving difficulties or shakiness.
How it works
Sinemet combines the two medications Levodopa and Carbidopa, in order to fight against the Parkinson’s diseases and its syndrome conditions.
‘Dopamine’ is a naturally occurring substance within the body and when its amount is very less within the brain, it is said to lead to the Parkinson’s disease. The drug levodopa found in sinemet, works by changing into dopamine inside the brain. While carbidopa aids in preventing the levodopa breakdown within the bloodstream, which will allow more levodopa to enter the brain.
Carbon monoxide or manganese intoxication is also known to cause symptomatic Parkinsonism. This condition along with post-encephalitic Parkinsonism can be treated using this medication. The carbidopa drug can also be useful to reduce side effects caused by levodopa like vomiting and nausea.
You can take this medicine by mouth, usually 3 to 4 times a day or as advised by your physician (with or without food). If you take Sinemet with food it might be helpful to decrease the risk of nausea conditions. But make sure to refrain from taking a high-protein diet as it might reduce the levodopa amount that the body consumes.
‘Iron’ is also known to decrease the amount of medicine that can be absorbed by the body. So if you are planning on taking multivitamins with minerals that contain iron or iron supplements, wait for as many hours as possible after a Sinemet dose, and only take them afterwards. As this medication comes in different strength tablets that include levodopa and carbidopa in different amounts, it is important that you take the proper tablet that is prescribed to you.
Some people might feel, sudden short periods of stiffness (due to an “on-off” effect) and a worsening of symptoms (due to a “wearing-off” effect), while waiting for the next dose. If these conditions occur, inform your medical advisor to get the dose adjusted accordingly.
Severe side effects are not known to be a common occurrence when using Sinemet. However, if the following serious issues do occur immediate medical attention will be needed.
Uncontrollable eye blinking/twitching
Serious pain in abdomen/stomach
Changes in mood/mental status
Less harmless side effects like the following may also occur.
Urine, saliva or sweat turning a dark color
As this is not a complete side effects list, in the event of any of these or any other effect occurring, get the proper medical aid needed right away.
Before taking this medication your doctor/pharmacist should be informed about any allergies you may have, especially the ones that you might have for carbidopa or levodopa. Any heart disease, kidney disease, seizures, mental/mood disorders or sleep disorders that might be in your medical history should be disclosed to him/her as well.
Some patients have been known to fall asleep suddenly after using Sinemet, so it is best not to perform any activities that might require a thorough attention, while on medication. Your doctor/dentist should also know about all the drugs that you are currently using if you are planning to have any surgery done.
If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, use this medicine only when it is clearly required. Before using the drug it would be best to consult your healthcare provider, regarding the benefits/risks that might be involved as well.