Levodopa with carbidopa (Sinemet): modified release update

Brand change Active

Levodopa with carbidopa is a medicine used in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease.

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Supply issue resolved

Sinemet (immediate release) and Sinemet CR (modified release) brands of levodopa with carbidopa supplied by Merck Sharp and Dohme are now available. During this supply issue, an alternative brand (Mylan) was supplied.  

The following Sinemet presentations are available again:

  • Sinemet, levodopa 200 m g + carbidopa 50 mg tab long acting from November 2020
  • Sinemet, levodopa 100 mg + carbidopa 25 mg tab (immediate release) from mid May
  • Sinemet, levodopa 250 m g + carbidopa 50 mg tab (immediate release) from mid May

Previous brands

Some people taking levodopa with carbidopa may have only used the Kinson or the Mylan brand supplied by Mylan. Taking Sinemet will be a change of brand for them. For many others, Sinemet will be a return to a brand they had been using before.

Information for pharmacists

200/50 modified release

Listed brand: Sinemet CR brand available from November 2020

Temporary alternative: The Mylan brand of levodopa with carbidopa 200/50 modified release will be delisted (likely May 2021) to allow stock in the supply chain to be dispensed to patients and claimed for.

100/25 immediate release

Listed brand: Sinemet brand available from May 2020

Temporary alternative: The Kinson brand of levodopa with carbidopa 100/25 immediate release will be delisted on 1 December 2020.

250/25 immediate release

Listed brand: Sinemet brand available from May 2020

Temporary alternative: None supplied

 

The Pharmaceutical Schedule will be updated each month with the appropriate funded products.

For further information download the letter sent by Merck Sharpe and Dohme to Healthcare Professionals, dated 29 April 2020.

Information for prescribers

Until recently, there has been a supply issue with the Sinemet and Sinemet CR brands of levodopa with carbidopa. To ensure continuity of supply of this medicine some alternative brands have been funded over the last two years.

The supply issue with Sinemet and Sinemet CR is now resolving so patients will be dispensed the Sinemet and Sinemet CR brands again as each strength becomes available.

Some of your patients may have only been using the alternative brand of levodopa and carbidopa, supplied by Mylan, so they may have some questions about their medicine next time they talk to you.

Medsafe have provided some advice on additional patient monitoring you may want to consider for each of your patients taking these medicines.

Information for people taking levodopa with carbidopa

You may have been taking the Kinson or Mylan brand of levodopa with carbidopa. These brands were funded because there was a supply issue for the Sinemet and Sinemet CR brands of levodopa with carbidopa.

The supply issue is now resolving and so over the next couple of months, when you pick up your medicine from the pharmacy, you will start to get the Sinemet or Sinemet CR brand of levodopa with carbidopa.

Who to contact

If you take levodopa with carbidopa, your doctor, nurse or pharmacist are the best people to answer your questions. PHARMAC cannot comment on an individual's clinical circumstances. 

If you are a prescriber or pharmacist with questions about this supply issue, email enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz