We haven't talked from personal experience about levodopa-carbidopa (Sinemet) as a symptom relief treatment for Parkinson's disease. About 8 weeks ago Steve began taking levodopa-carbidopa. He is actually on a fairly low dose which seems to help a great deal with stiffness, a bit with tremor and not so much with weakness but he still hasn't titrated up to the full prescribed dosage - we're on hold for a totally different reason because we don't want to.
It was his idea to take levodopa-carbidopa and his neurologist agreed to write the prescription. He has not reached the point where he needs a higher dose to be effective and so he has no reason to take the controlled release (CR) form for a steady, continuous delivery. And because the first morning dose of the timed-release pills may actually take much longer to start working, we hope that we will be able to control the stiffness with the generic version.
- Sinemet tablet 12.5/100 mg
- Sinemet CR tablet 50/200 mg
- Sinemet Plus tablet 25/100 mg
The product distributor, Bristol-Myers Squibb indicated in an August announcement that there were packaging issues which would cause a three week delay.
Also announcing a shortage was Apotex, Inc for the generic Apo-Levocarb CR (200/50) available in Canada but now discontinued. Patients are encouraged to consult their doctors for treatment alternatives. Bristol-Myer Squibb is the distributor for Merck, supplying to Apotex. When announcing in Canada, no reason was provided, however other reports suggest that consumer stock-piling was already in progress creating a short supply.
The good news is that many generic versions, usually slightly weaker, still appear to be readily available, so it is not time to panic if you are using the medication for Parkinson's disease, parkinsonism, encephalitis caused parkinsonian symptoms, carbon monoxide or manganese poisoning. Just how long this will last is unknown.
People who are already taking Sinemet CR, Sinemet Plus of Sinemet 12.5/100 and are concerned about not being able to renew a prescription can call one of several numbers worldwide to speak to the customer relations department at Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals Ltd (800) 332-2056 or at Merck Sharp & Dohme Ltd or the parent company Merck & Co, Inc.
The following countries have offices which you can contact at the Merck links above:
Thus far we have not seen warning for the other L-dopa/carbidopa combination medications.
- You can not split a timed release tablet
- You could have a withdrawal problem if you simply stop taking the medication; consult your physician about a lower dosage prescription in order to titrate down.
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Per information from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists"
Back on February 23, 2010, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) had acquired Reliant and announced that DynaCirc CR had been unavailable during the transition period. The 5mg and 10mg pills are available now.
Activis Group did make some changes in isradipine packaging. The 2.5 mg 100 count package is no loonger but the 60 count is available to pharmacies. The same is true of the 100 count 5mg package. Now only 60 count packages are available.
Watson Pharmaceuticals, which was formerly Cobalt, has isradipine available in 2.5 mg and 5 mg 100 capsule counts.
For those who have been taking the CCB Nimodipine, that shortage has been resolved.