carbidopa/levodopa sustained-release - oral, Sinemet CR (cont.)
HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth with food, usually 2 to 3 times a day or as directed by your doctor. Doses are usually taken 4 to 8 hours apart while awake. If you are switching from immediate-release levodopa/carbidopa to this product, your doctor may slightly increase your dose of this medication to get the same response. This medication may take a little longer to work in the morning than the immediate-release medication because it is absorbed slower. Let your doctor know if this becomes a problem. If you have been taking levodopa without any carbidopa and are taking this combination for the first time, wait at least 12 hours after your last levodopa dose before starting this medication. You may want to take your last levodopa dose in the early evening so that you can start your first dose of this medication in the morning. Your doctor will usually reduce your levodopa dose when starting a carbidopa combination to prevent side effects from too much dopamine. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions closely.This combination comes in different strengths with different amounts of carbidopa and levodopa in each tablet. Be sure you have the correct strength of both drugs. Your doctor may also prescribe immediate-release carbidopa/levodopa or carbidopa alone to be taken with this combination. Make sure you understand your dosing schedule and follow it closely.Swallow this medication whole. Do not crush or chew the tablets. Doing so can destroy the long action of the drug and may increase side effects. The 50/200-milligram-strength tablets may be broken in half along the score line. Do not break the 25/100-milligram-strength tablets.Avoid high-protein diets because they may prevent absorption of this medication. Separate your dose of this medication as many hours as possible from any iron supplements or products containing iron (e.g., multivitamins with minerals) you may take. Iron can reduce the amount of carbidopa and levodopa available to the body.Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.Some people may experience a decrease in the effectiveness of this medication just before the next dose is due. If this occurs and is bothersome, notify your doctor. Do not change your dose of this or any other medication without checking with your doctor first.Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is quickly reduced or suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually reduced. (See also Side Effects section.)Inform your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
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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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