Sinemet is used for treating Parkinson's disease and Parkinson-like symptoms due to carbon monoxide poisoning, manganese poisoning, or encephalitis. A dopamine deficiency is responsible for many of the symptoms of Parkinson's. One of the active components in Sinemet (levodopa) is a precursor of dopamine, which means the body can use levodopa to make dopamine. Off-label Sinemet uses include the treatment of restless legs syndrome.
Sinemet Uses: An OverviewSinemet® (carbidopa-levodopa) is a prescription medication used to treat Parkinson's disease. In addition, the drug is approved to treat Parkinson-like symptoms due to carbon monoxide poisoning, manganese poisoning, or encephalitis (inflammation or infection of the brain).
Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that results from the loss of neurons in a region of the brain that controls movement. This creates a shortage of the brain-signaling chemical (neurotransmitter) known as dopamine, causing the movement problems characteristic of Parkinson's disease. The exact cause of Parkinson's disease is not currently known.
Although early symptoms of Parkinson's disease may be subtle, people will eventually develop a characteristic tremor (trembling or shaking) of a limb, especially when the body is at rest. As the disease progresses, symptoms may worsen and new ones may appear.
Depending on the severity of a person's symptoms, Parkinson's disease treatment can include:
- Medications (see Medications for Parkinson's Disease)
- Lifestyle changes and support.
Although Sinemet is an effective Parkinson's medication, its benefits are often limited to about five years of use, at which time the drug may start to cause intolerable side effects and may begin to lose its effectiveness. It is not currently known why this might occur; some people think it is a manifestation of the worsening of the disease that normally happens over time.