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Sinemet Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Sinemet (carbidopa-levodopa) is used to treat Parkinson symptoms such as muscle stiffness, tremors, spasms, and poor muscle control. This medication is also used to treat Parkinson symptoms caused by carbon monoxide poisoning or manganese intoxication. Carbidopa is an inhibitor of aromatic amino acid decarboxylation and levodopa is an aromatic amino acid. This medication is available in generic form. Common side effects include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, trouble sleeping, and headache.
Starting dosage is one tablet of Sinemet 25-100 (carbidopa-levodopa) three times a day. Dosage may be increased by one tablet every day or every other day, as necessary, until a dosage of eight tablets a day is reached. Sinemet may interact with other Parkinson's medications, metoclopramide, isoniazid, phenytoin, papaverine, blood pressure medication, antidepressants, or medicines to treat psychiatric disorders. Tell your doctor all medications you use. Sinemet should be used only when prescribed during pregnancy. Levodopa may pass into breast milk and affect milk production. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Our Sinemet (carbidopa-levodopa) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Sinemet in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
You may notice that your sweat, urine, or saliva appears dark in color, such as red, brown, or black. This is not a harmful side effect, but it may cause staining of your clothes or bed sheets.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck;
- worsening of tremors (uncontrolled shaking);
- high fever, stiff muscles, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats, rapid breathing, feeling like you might pass out;
- seizure (convulsions);
- painful or difficult urination;
- severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea;
- uneven heart rate or fluttering in your chest;
- confusion, hallucinations, anxiety, agitation, depressed mood, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;
- chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder.
Less serious side effects may include:
- mild nausea, dry mouth, loss of appetite, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation;
- headache, dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision;
- sneezing, stuffy nose, cough, or other cold symptoms;
- sleep problems (insomnia), strange dreams;
- muscle pain, numbness or tingly feeling; or
- skin rash or itching.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Sinemet (Carbidopa-Levodopa)
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
Sinemet Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This medication may cause your urine, sweat or saliva to turn red, brown, or black. This is harmless, but your clothes may become discolored.
Some people using this medication have reported falling asleep suddenly during their usual daily activities (such as talking on the phone, driving). In some cases, sleep occurred without any feelings of drowsiness beforehand. Therefore, you should not drive or take part in other possibly dangerous activities until you are certain that this medication will not cause drowsiness or sudden sleep. If you experience increased sleepiness or fall asleep during the day, do not drive or take part in other possibly dangerous activities until you have discussed this effect with your doctor. Your risk is increased with use of alcohol or other medications that can make you drowsy.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: greatly increased eye blinking/twitching, irregular heartbeat, fainting, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, depression, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide), unusual urges (such as increased gambling, sexual urges), worsening of involuntary movements/spasms.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: easy bleeding/bruising, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), tingling of the hands/feet, vision changes (e.g., blurred/double vision).
Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain, seizures, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, black/tarry stools.
Abruptly stopping or reducing the dose of this medication may rarely cause a serious (sometimes fatal) condition (neuroleptic malignant syndrome). Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: fast/shallow breathing, confusion, severe dizziness/fainting, high fever, unusual muscle stiffness, unusual sweating.
For males, in the very unlikely event you have a painful or prolonged erection (lasting more than 4 hours), stop using this drug and seek immediate medical attention or permanent problems could occur.
A very serious allergic reaction is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Sinemet (Carbidopa-Levodopa)
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Sinemet FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
The most common adverse reactions reported with SINEMET (carbidopa-levodopa) have included dyskinesias, such as choreiform, dystonic, and other involuntary movements, and nausea.
The following other adverse reactions have been reported with SINEMET (carbidopa-levodopa) :
Body as a Whole
Psychotic episodes including delusions, hallucinations, and paranoid ideation, neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS, see WARNINGS), bradykinetic episodes ("on-off" phenomenon), confusion, agitation, dizziness, somnolence, dream abnormalities including nightmares, insomnia, paresthesia, headache, depression with or without development of suicidal tendencies, dementia, pathological gambling, increased libido including hypersexuality, impulse control symptoms. Convulsions also have occurred; however, a causal relationship with SINEMET (carbidopa-levodopa) has not been established.
Urinary tract infection, urinary frequency, dark urine.
Decreased hemoglobin and hematocrit; abnormalities in alkaline phosphatase, SCOT (AST), SGPT (ALT), lactic dehydrogenase, bilirubin, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), Coombs test; elevated serum glucose; white blood cells, bacteria, and blood in the urine.
Other adverse reactions that have been reported with levodopa alone and with various carbidopa-levodopa formulations, and may occur with SINEMET (carbidopa-levodopa) are:
Body as a Whole
Ataxia, extrapyramidal disorder, falling, anxiety, gait abnormalities, nervousness, decreased mental acuity, memory impairment, disorientation, euphoria, blepharospasm (which may be taken as an early sign of excess dosage; consideration of dosage reduction may be made at this time), trismus, increased tremor, numbness, muscle twitching, activation of latent Homer's syndrome, peripheral neuropathy.
Pharyngeal pain, cough.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Sinemet (Carbidopa-Levodopa)
Additional Sinemet Information
Sinemet - User Reviews
Sinemet User Reviews
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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