Sinemet (carbidopa/levodopa) is a brand-name prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to treat the following conditions in adults:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Parkinsonism that occurs after:
- manganese poisoning
Sinemet comes as an oral tablet. It contains the active drugs carbidopa and levodopa. These medications also come as a generic drug called carbidopa/levodopa.
Carbidopa belongs to a group of drugs called decarboxylase blockers. Levodopa belongs to a group of drugs called dopamine precursors.
For information about the dosage of Sinemet, including its strengths and how to take the drug, keep reading. For a comprehensive look at Sinemet, see this article.
This article describes typical dosages for Sinemet provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Sinemet, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
Before you start treatment with Sinemet, your doctor will discuss the best dosing schedule for you.
Sinemet dosage form
Sinemet comes as an oral tablet.
Sinemet comes in three strengths:
- 10 milligrams (mg) of carbidopa/100 mg of levodopa
- 25 mg carbidopa/100 mg levodopa
- 25 mg carbidopa/250 mg levodopa
Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Sinemet dosage for Parkinson’s disease and Parkinsonism
The recommended starting dosage of Sinemet is 25 mg carbidopa/100 mg levodopa taken three times per day. However, your doctor may recommend taking Sinemet 10 mg carbidopa/100 mg levodopa three to four times per day. Your dose will depend on how well your symptoms are managed.
Your doctor will evaluate you to determine whether your starting dose works for you. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a Sinemet dose titration. Dose titration is when your doctor increases your dose until the medication is working to treat your condition.
In most cases, the dosage range of Sinemet is between 30 mg of carbidopa/300 mg levodopa and 200 mg of carbidopa/800 mg levodopa per day. Your doctor may recommend increasing the Sinemet dosage up to a maximum of eight tablets of Sinemet 10 mg/100 mg or eight tablets of Sinemet 25 mg/100 mg per day.
If you have questions about your Sinemet dose timing, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. In most cases, they’ll recommend taking your doses at regular dosing intervals. A dosing interval is how often you should take a medication so that it’s most effective. So, if you take Sinemet three times per day, your doctor may recommend a dose every 8 hours. Your doctor or pharmacist can help determine the best dosing schedule for you.
Dosage if you’re switching from levodopa
If you’re currently taking a medication that contains levodopa and are planning to switch to Sinemet, your doctor will recommend stopping levodopa 12 hours before your first dose of Sinemet.
Your doctor will calculate the best dose for you. In most cases, if you’re taking less than 1,500 mg of levodopa, your doctor will likely recommend a dose of Sinemet 25 mg carbidopa/100 mg levodopa three to four times per day. However, if you’re taking more than 1,500 mg of levodopa, your doctor will typically recommend a dose of Sinemet 25 mg carbidopa/250 mg levodopa three to four times per day. Then, your doctor will likely recommend increasing your dose over time to get to the amount of medication that’s right for you.
If your Sinemet dosage is too high, you may notice involuntary movements occurring. In this case, your doctor may recommend reducing your Sinemet dosage.
Sinemet is meant to be a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Sinemet is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.
Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions about Sinemet.
What’s the maximum dose of Sinemet per day?
The maximum recommended dose of Sinemet is eight tablets of either Sinemet 10 mg carbidopa/100 mg levodopa or eight tablets of Sinemet 25 mg carbidopa/100 mg levodopa. It’s not recommended to take more than eight tablets of Sinemet per day.
Your doctor will recommend the best dosage of Sinemet for you. Typically, they’ll recommend slowly increasing your dose of Sinemet until you get to a dose that works to manage your symptoms of Parkinson’s disease or Parkinsonism.
If you have questions about your dose of Sinemet, talk with your doctor.
Should I take Sinemet at certain dosing intervals?
It’s recommended to take Sinemet at regular dosing intervals. This means taking the drug regularly to keep a consistent amount of medication in your body. Having a consistent amount of medication can help make the medication effective.
If you’re taking Sinemet three times per day, your doctor may recommend taking your dose once every 8 hours. This would be considered a regular dosing interval.
If you have questions about when to take your dose of Sinemet, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Is there a dosage available for Sinemet CR?
No, there’s currently no dosage of Sinemet CR (controlled release). At this time, Sinemet CR has been discontinued by the manufacturer.
With Sinemet CR, small amounts of the drug are released into your body at a time. This form of the drug is also called Sinemet ER (extended release). These forms help keep a consistent amount of the drug in your body over time. However, Sinemet is an immediate-release (IR) form of the medication. This means the drug is released into your body all at once after you take your tablet instead of slowly working over some time.
If you’re taking Sinemet CR, your dosage of Sinemet will likely be different. If you have questions about the difference between your Sinemet ER dosage and your Sinemet dosage, talk with your doctor.
There is an extended-release form of carbidopa/levodopa called Rytary. If you’re interested in this medication, talk with your doctor.
If you missed your dose of Sinemet, call your doctor or pharmacist to find out when to take your next dose. In some cases, they may recommend taking your dose as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, they may recommend skipping your missed dose. You can then continue taking Sinemet on your regular schedule.
Do not take two doses at one time to make up for a Sinemet missed dose. This can increase your risk of side effects.
The Sinemet dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
- the type and severity of the condition you’re using Sinemet to treat
- if you take levodopa
- your age
Other medical conditions you have can also affect your Sinemet dosage.
Sinemet is available as an oral tablet. You’ll usually take your dose three or four times per day. How often you take Sinemet will depend on your condition.
If you have trouble swallowing tablets, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
It may be helpful to take Sinemet around the same times each day. This helps maintain a steady level of the drug in your body so Sinemet can work effectively.
ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS AND CONTAINERS
If you’re having trouble reading your prescription label, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.
If you’re having trouble opening medication bottles, ask your pharmacist about putting Sinemet in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles.
If you use more Sinemet than your doctor prescribes, you may develop serious side effects.
It’s important that you do not use more Sinemet than your doctor advises.
Symptoms of an overdose
Taking too much Sinemet may cause a change in your heart rhythm, called an arrhythmia, to occur.
If you take more than the recommended amount of Sinemet
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Sinemet. Another option is to call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
You should not suddenly stop taking Sinemet. Suddenly stopping this drug can cause withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can happen if your body is dependent on a drug that you suddenly stop taking. You may become dependent on a drug if your body becomes used to it and you need the medication to function as usual.
Sometimes, suddenly stopping Sinemet may cause withdrawal symptoms that are similar to a condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Symptoms may include:
- rigid muscles
- uncontrolled movements
- changes in consciousness
- fast heart rate
- high or low blood pressure
If you’d like to stop taking Sinemet, talk with your doctor. They can recommend a way to slowly decrease your dose of Sinemet over time to reduce your risk of withdrawal symptoms occurring.
The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Sinemet for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.
As with any drug, never change your dosage of Sinemet without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Sinemet that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Sinemet. These additional articles might be helpful:
- More about Sinemet. For information about other aspects of Sinemet, refer to this article.
- Drug comparison. Find out how Sinemet compares with Rytary and Stalevo.
- Details about your condition. For details about Parkinson’s, see our Parkinson’s disease hub.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.