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Side Effects of Carbidopa-Levodopa CR

Although many people tolerate carbidopa-levodopa CR well at first, it is not uncommon for people to develop significant and sometimes intolerable side effects of the medication after several years of use. Some of the common side effects of carbidopa-levodopa CR include involuntary muscle movements, nausea, and hallucinations. If you develop more serious side effects while taking this medication (such as seizures, difficulty swallowing, or suicidal thoughts), make sure to notify your healthcare provider right away.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Carbidopa-Levodopa CR

As with any medicine, carbidopa-levodopa CR (Sinemet® CR) may cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience side effects. Many people tolerate it relatively well, at least initially. If side effects do occur, they are often minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider. However, many people will begin to experience significant and sometimes intolerable carbidopa-levodopa CR side effects after several years of use.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with carbidopa-levodopa CR. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of carbidopa-levodopa CR side effects with you.)

Serious Side Effects of Carbidopa-Levodopa CR

Some side effects with carbidopa-levodopa CR are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. Although most of these serious side effects are rare, a few may be common. Serious side effects of carbidopa-levodopa CR include, but are not limited to:
  • Psychiatric problems, such as:


    • Delusions
    • Hallucinations
    • Paranoia
    • Agitation
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors


  • Low blood pressure (hypotension) or high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Fainting
  • Bleeding in the digestive tract
  • Intestinal ulcers (known as duodenal ulcers)
  • Low white blood cells, red blood cells, or blood platelets
  • Intense, unusual urges, such as urges to gamble or engage in risky sexual activity
  • Seizures
  • Heart attack
  • Malignant melanoma (a type of skin cancer)
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A painful penile erection that does not go away (known as priapism)
  • Falling or balance problems
  • Symptoms of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), which may occur if carbidopa-levodopa CR is stopped too abruptly, such as:


    • High fever
    • Stiff muscles
    • Confusion
    • Irregular pulse or blood pressure
    • Fast heart rate (tachycardia)
    • Sweating
    • Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias)


  • Signs of an allergic reaction, including:


    • Unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the mouth or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing.


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Information on Carbidopa-Levodopa CR

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