Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Carbidopa-Levodopa 25-100 Tab Revisited


Everybody sing!

Carbidopa-Levodopa, that’s the drug for me.

I take it in the morning when I drink my tea.

Then again before lunch,  Then again at three o'clock.

Then I’ll take more later if I need to be up. Up, up up.

I take more later if I need to stay up.

I’ve been taking C/L ( generic for Sinemet) for more than 4 years now.  I started with a week of doses to verify that I, indeed (probably),  had the first symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.  I’ve been using it ever since.

I started with three 25/100 tabs spaced out equally through out the day.  At first, I didn’t see any great benefits and wondered if I was doing the correct thing.  After all, some books I read recommended postponing the use of C/L until symptoms were severe.  The thought (at the time the book s were written)  was that the body would only accept so much dopamine replacement over time before it became ineffective.   This is just not the case according to doctors at Pennsylvania Hospital.  The prevailing wisdom is use the drug, live your life.

So far, so good.  Now, I realize I would have a very limited life without those little pills.  They are necessary every day, and I thank God and the pharmacy that distributes them.

I take the equivalent of  50 /200 milligrams of C/L  every three and a half hours that I am awake.  If I wait too long to get the drug in my system, I “wear off”  (i.e. the drug is used up and no longer doing whatever it is that it does).  I become shuffle footed and glued to the floor.  It is a real inconvenience in my line of work, where I might be in someone’s house, say, supervising a kitchen remodel,  then suddenly go all stumbly and immobile.  Tie rags to my shoes and I’ll polish the floor.  The people I work with understand, but it does not always elicit the confidence of the homeowner who is paying the bill.

Some days I get the timing right and my motion is reasonably fluid throughout the day.   Timing is tricky.  More days than not, a dose will “wear off” unexpectedly, (even soon after taking the pills) leaving me glued to the floor.  I recently  learned from my doctor about a “rescue dose”.   This is an extra C/L pill that I crush up and put under my tongue.  The carbidopa-levodopa is delivered to my brain a little faster (about fifteen minutes) and I am on my way for another three hour session.

I will post more details about What C/L is and how it works. I just wanted to tell you , Dear Reader, that carbidopa-levodopa does work, and my life is better for it.  For however long the drug remains effective in my body,  it will have been worth it.

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