Carbidopa-Levodopa (Sinemet) Nursing Considerations

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Generic Name


Trade Name



Parkinson’s disease


Levodopa is converted to dopamine and works as a neurotransmitter, carbidopa
prevents the destruction of levodopa allowing it to cross the blood brain barrier

Therapeutic Class

Antiparkinson agent

Pharmacologic Class

Dopamine Agonist

Nursing Considerations

• May cause orthostatic hypotension
• May cause dark urine
• Weeks to months to take effect
• Do not use with MAOIs
• Do not use with glaucoma, melanoma
• Assess for parkinsonian symptoms
• Instruct patient to take as directed

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Hey guys, let’s talk about carbidopa levodopa, also known as sentiment. This is an oral medication, as you can see here in the picture. So remember when we think about the fair therapeutic class versus the pharmacologic class, the therapeutic class is what the drug does in the body. While the pharmacologic class is its chemical effect. So the therapeutic class for carbidopa levodopa is an anti Parkinson agent while it’s pharmacologic class is a dopamine agonist. So how exactly does this medication work? So remember this medication has two components, carbidopa and levodopa that work together. So levodopa is converted to dopamine as seen in this formula, which works as a neurotransmitter. And the carbidopa component is important because it prevents the destruction of levodopa so that levodopa can cross a blood brain barrier. Carbidopa levodopa is indicated for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. So what are some of the side effects that are seen with this medication? So orthostatic hypotension, which is that decrease in blood pressure from sitting to standing, this is seen as well as dark urine, also headache and nausea are also common. 

So let’s take a look at a few nursing considerations for, or carbidopa levodopa. You’ll want to assess your patient for those Parkinsonian symptoms. While on therapy, remember to not use inpatients with glaucoma or melanoma, it is super important for you to know, as well as the patient to know that the action of this medication can take weeks to months for a peak effect. There is a drug interaction with mais, so they should not be used with carbidopa levodopa and instruct the patient to take this medication exactly as directed. So this is a pretty cool and interesting suggestion for patients who are on this medication. If your patient isn’t seeing the effects that you would like have your patient take the medication with a glass of Coca-Cola instead of water, as the acid in the Coca-Cola leads to a higher absorption and bioavailability of the medication leading to a greater effect, that’s it for carbidopa levodopa, or now go out and be your best self today. And as always happy nursing.

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