Parkinsons Disease Home > Sinemet and Pregnancy
Animal studies on Sinemet (carbidopa-levodopa) and pregnancy have shown that problems are possible. The drug decreased the number of live births when given to pregnant rats and increased the risk of birth defects when given to pregnant rabbits. However, it is unclear if the same problems would occur in pregnant women. If you are taking Sinemet and pregnancy occurs, notify your healthcare provider.
Sinemet and Pregnancy: An OverviewSinemet® (carbidopa-levodopa) is a prescription medication approved to treat Parkinson's disease and Parkinson-like symptoms due to other causes. Animal studies indicate that Sinemet may cause problems when used during pregnancy, although the full risks to humans are not known at this time.
Sinemet and Pregnancy Category CThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that have not been studied in pregnant humans but that do appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies. Also, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
When given to pregnant rats, Sinemet decreased the number of live pups born. When given to pregnant rabbits, it increased the risk of various birth defects.
Animals do not always respond to medicines in the same way that humans do. Therefore, a pregnancy Category C medicine may be given to a pregnant woman if her healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child. Sinemet has not been adequately studied in humans, and there have only been a few reports of women who took the drug during pregnancy (as Parkinson's disease is rare in young women). In these few reported cases, Sinemet did not appear to cause any problems.