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Copay or $129 without insurance.
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Having a visit does not guarantee a medication will be ordered or refilled. It is clinicians’ professional decision. It is prohibited by law to prescribe or refill controlled substances via virtual visits. Your provider may recommend follow-up care, including additional services that may not be included in visit price.

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Carbidopa and Levodopa (Sinemet)

Carbidopa-levodopa is a combination medication used in the treatment of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and Parkinson-like symptoms, which are often seen in conditions such as dopamine transporter deficiency syndrome and certain forms of secondary parkinsonism.

Carbidopa-Levodopa combines two different drugs, Carbidopa and Levodopa, into one medication.

  • Levodopa is a precursor of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is deficient in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Carbidopa, on the other hand, is added to inhibit the breakdown of Levodopa before it reaches the brain.

This combination allows a greater amount of Levodopa to reach the brain where it can be converted into dopamine.

Carbidopa-Levodopa belongs to a class of medications known as dopaminergic drugs, which are used to treat disorders characterized by low levels of dopamine in the brain. Levodopa falls under the subcategory of dopamine precursors since it is directly converted to dopamine in the brain. Carbidopa is classified as a dopa-decarboxylase inhibitor, as it prevents the premature conversion of Levodopa to dopamine outside the brain, thereby increasing its availability in the central nervous system.

Carbidopa-Levodopa is used to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease such as tremors, rigidity, and bradykinesia (slowness of movement).

It is also indicated for the treatment of Parkinsonism caused by encephalitis, certain medications such as antipsychotics, and carbon monoxide intoxication.

The medication comes in tablet and capsule forms including immediate-release, extended-release, and controlled-release formulations.

In the United States, carbidopa/levodopa is available under the following brand names:

  • Sinemet
  • Sinemet CR
  • Rytary
  • Duopa
  • Dhivy

Common side effects associated with carbidopa/levodopa may include:

  • Twitching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle contractions
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dry mouth
  • Weakness

More serious side effects which should be reported to your healthcare provider immediately may include:

  • Uncontrolled movements in your face, tongue, arms, or legs
  • Difficulty speaking or swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe dizziness or fainting
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Depression or mood changes
  • Changes in vision or eyesight
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Severe or ongoing vomiting or diarrhea
  • Weakness, numbness, or loss of sensation in the fingers or feet
  • Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs

The above lists of possible side effects associated with carbidopa/levodopa are not exhaustive and other side effects may occur. If you experience any severe or persistent side effects while taking carbidopa/levodopa, it is important to contact your healthcare provider right away.

Frequently Asked Questions About Carbidopa and Levodopa

What Is Carbidopa/Levodopa Used to Treat?

Carbidopa-Levodopa is primarily used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and other conditions that present with low levels of dopamine in the brain. It can also be used to manage Parkinson-like symptoms caused by certain medications, infections, or toxic substances.

How Does Carbidopa-Levodopa Work?

Carbidopa-Levodopa works by increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain. 

Levodopa works by crossing the blood-brain barrier – a barrier that protects the brain but also restricts many medications from entering – and then being converted into dopamine. This newly synthesized dopamine then helps to restore the dopamine deficiency in the brain, which improves the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Carbidopa, on the other hand, does not cross the blood-brain barrier. Its primary role is to inhibit the enzyme dopa-decarboxylase in the peripheral tissues. This enzyme would normally convert Levodopa to dopamine outside the brain, which not only reduces the amount of Levodopa available to the brain but can also lead to side effects like nausea and cardiovascular issues. By inhibiting this enzyme, Carbidopa ensures that more Levodopa reaches the brain and also reduces peripheral side effects.

What Are the Most Common Side Effects of Carbidopa/Levodopa?

The most common side effects revolve around the gastrointestinal system and include nausea, loss of appetite, dry mouth, and dizziness. It may also cause headaches, trouble sleeping, and even muscle twitching.

What Is the Typical Starting Dose of Carbidopa/Levodopa?

The dosage and the form of carbidopa/levodopa depend on your specific condition, age, weight, and response to treatment. Your healthcare provider will determine the most appropriate starting dose for you. You should always follow your doctor’s instructions and never change the dosage without consulting them first.

How to Take Carbidopa/Levodopa?

Carbidopa/levodopa is taken orally, with or without food. It is essential to follow your doctor’s instructions and never take more than the recommended dose as this can lead to severe side effects. The medication may be given in different forms such as immediate-release, extended-release, and controlled-release formulations. Each of those formulations has different dosing and administration instructions, so it is vital to carefully read the patient information leaflet provided with your medication.

Do You Need a Prescription for Carbidopa/Levodopa?

Yes, Carbidopa/Levodopa is not available over the counter and requires a prescription from a healthcare provider. This is because the medication’s dosage and administration must be carefully managed to ensure efficacy and minimize the risk of adverse effects. It’s important to consult with your doctor to determine if Carbidopa/Levodopa is the right treatment for your condition and to get a prescription.

Can You Get an Online Prescription for Carbidopa/Levodopa From DrHouse?

Yes, you can receive an online prescription for Carbidopa/Levodopa from DrHouse. Our team of experienced healthcare professionals can prescribe and refill your medication if it’s deemed appropriate for your condition.


For more detailed information about carbidopa/levodopa, you can refer to the following sources:

Content on the DrHouse website is written by our medical content team and reviewed by qualified MDs, PhDs, NPs, and PharmDs. We follow strict content creation guidelines to ensure accurate medical information. However, this content is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For more information read our medical disclaimer.

Always consult with your physician or other qualified health providers about medical concerns. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on what you read on this website.

If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

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Frequently asked questions

  • Yes, you can get a new prescription or refill an existing one online through DrHouse. You just need to start a consultation with one of our licensed providers and they will be able to assess your needs and provide you with a prescription if necessary.

    Please note that the final decision always rests with the doctor based on their professional judgment and your health needs.

  • There are certain medications that cannot be prescribed online by DrHouse physicians due to safety reasons. These include controlled substances, such as opioids and other narcotics, as well as drugs with a high potential for abuse or dependence. DrHouse physicians also don’t prescribe Gabapentin, medical marijuana, muscle relaxants, and HRT medications.

  • With DrHouse getting a new prescription or a refill for your current Rx is a straightforward and quick process. All you need to do is follow a few easy steps:

    • Download the DrHouse telehealth app on your mobile device.
    • Create an account by providing basic information and medical history.
    • Start an on-demand virtual video consultation with one of our licensed physicians.
    • Discuss your medical needs and concerns with one of our physicians.
    • A doctor will review your medical history, symptoms, and current medications (if any) to determine if an online prescription is appropriate for you.
    • If a physician approves, they will electronically send a new prescription or refill request to the pharmacy of your choice.
    • Pick up your medication from the pharmacy.

    DrHouse makes it easy for you to get an online prescription from the comfort of your own home. No more waiting in line at the doctor’s office or pharmacy, and no need to take time off work to see a doctor. Our telehealth platform allows you to access quality medical care from anywhere with an internet connection.

    For more information about how our telehealth platform works visit our “How DrHouse Works” page.

  • During your virtual consultation with a DrHouse physician, you will have the opportunity to discuss your medical needs and concerns.

    The consultation will consist of a video call where a physician will assess your medical history and ask you questions about your symptoms and any other relevant information. This is to ensure that a physician has all the necessary information to make an informed decision about your prescription.

    You can also ask any questions or clarify any doubts you may have about your condition or medication. Our physicians are happy to address any concerns you may have.

    Once a physician has assessed your needs, they will determine if and what type of prescription is appropriate for you. If a new prescription or refill is approved, a doctor will send it electronically to your chosen pharmacy.

  • With our on-demand telehealth service, you have the opportunity to see the first available doctor in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. However, the exact consult time will depend on the complexity of your case and the thoroughness required by the healthcare provider to make an informed decision.

  • Absolutely, it is safe to get an online prescription from DrHouse. We are committed to ensuring the highest standards of patient safety and privacy.

    All our providers are highly qualified US-based physicians and often affiliated with major hospitals. They are board-certified and from the top U.S. medical schools with an average of 20 years of experience.

    We strictly adhere to HIPAA regulations, ensuring your personal and medical information is kept secure and confidential. Also, we comply with all applicable state and federal laws related to telehealth and the prescribing of medications.

    Therefore, you can rest assured knowing that your safety and privacy are our top priorities when you use DrHouse’s services.

  • DrHouse strives to provide accessible and affordable telehealth services. DrHouse urgent care, primary care, and specialist visits are $129 or your copay. This includes everything from your initial consultation through to the prescription of your medication.

    The cost of a doctor’s visit may be covered fully by your insurance. A typical copay is around $25. We recommend checking with your insurance provider to understand the extent of your coverage for telehealth services.

    To learn more about how much DrHouse costs, visit our pricing page

  • Yes, DrHouse accepts most major insurances, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, and Medicare. The extent of coverage may vary depending on your individual plan.

  • Our physicians are able to prescribe up to a 90-day prescription without labs for any previously prescribed medication if it’s medically appropriate and is not classified as a controlled substance.

    DrHouse physicians also don’t prescribe Gabapentin, medical marijuana, muscle relaxants, and HRT medications.

    DrHouse physicians use their medical judgment to determine whether to prescribe and the duration.

    In certain cases, the prescription may be limited to 30 days or less. There also may be a 12-month cap for some prescriptions without labs. For medications requiring annual monitoring (such as blood work or imaging), the maximum prescription limit is 90 days within a year without labs.

    DrHouse physicians can refer patients to labs for longer prescription periods or refills.