This combination medication is used to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease or Parkinson-like symptoms (such as shakiness, stiffness, difficulty moving). Parkinson's disease is thought to be caused by too little of a naturally occurring substance (dopamine) in the brain. Levodopa changes into dopamine in the brain, helping to control movement. Carbidopa prevents the breakdown of levodopa in the bloodstream so more levodopa can enter the brain. Carbidopa can also reduce some of levodopa's side effects such as nausea and vomiting.
How to use Sinemet CR
Do not crush or chew this medication. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split the tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
Taking this medication with food may help to decrease nausea. It is best to avoid a high-protein diet (it decreases the amount of levodopa that your body takes in) during treatment, unless directed otherwise by your doctor. Separate your dose of this medication by as many hours as possible from any iron supplements or products containing iron (such as multivitamins with minerals) you may take. Iron can reduce the amount of this medication absorbed by the body. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. If you are switching from immediate-release levodopa/carbidopa to this product, your doctor may slightly increase your dose of this medication to get the same response. This medication may take a little longer to work in the morning than the immediate-release medication because it is absorbed more slowly. Let your doctor know if this becomes a problem.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.
Your doctor may also prescribe immediate-release carbidopa/levodopa or carbidopa alone to be taken with this medication. Make sure you understand your dosing schedule and follow it closely.
Some patients may experience a "wearing-off" (worsening of symptoms) before the next dose is due. An "on-off" effect might also occur, in which sudden short periods of stiffness occur. If these effects occur, contact your doctor for possible dose adjustments that may help to lessen this effect.
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this medication is suddenly stopped. Also, if you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms (such as anxiety, depression, confusion, fever, muscle stiffness). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used this medication for a long time or in high doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.