Sinamet helps to treat Parkinson's disease, and as a potent L-dopa antioxidant offers a host of antiaging benefits.
Sinemet is the safest form of L-dopa therapy – well known in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Parkinson’s disease causes include low levels of dopamine in the brain, and L-dopa helps to form dopamine. This means it’s often necessary to seek a treatment to counter these lowered levels. Although incurable, by helping to alleviate some of the Parkinson's disease symptoms, relief can be brought to sufferers and their quality of life improved.
What is Parkinson's disease?
Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder of the nervous system. Primary Parkinson symptoms include motor impairment, involuntary muscle tremors and reduced mobility. The majority of people diagnosed with Parkinson's disease are over 60, but around 1 in 20 of those diagnosed are under 40 years old. There is currently no known cure, but there are a number of drugs that greatly reduce the effects of the condition on the body. Medications such as Sinemet alleviate the symptoms by replicating vital chemical processes in the brain.
Causes of Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease is caused by the depletion of the neurotransmitter Dopamine. By communicating with parts of the brain such as the cerebellum, Dopamine co-ordinates physical movement through the central nervous system. When dopamine-producing nerve cells die, these parts of the brain cease to function properly. Dopamine concentration must fall to around 20% of its usual level before the physical effects of Parkinson's disease become apparent. This is why it’s often recommended by doctors to seek out a dopamine supplement.
Parkinson's Disease Symptoms
Symptoms develop gradually and vary depending on the individual. Parkinson's disease early symptoms include constipation, fatigue, and minor tremors in the arm and hand. The term tremor refers to small, rhythmical shaking that often occurs when the muscle is in a restive state. It usually subsides when the muscle is active, hence the common term 'resting tremors'. It is by far the most widely recognised symptom, affecting around 70% of sufferers.
Those suffering advanced Parkinson's disease are likely to experience stiffness, severe tremors and slowness of movement. Muscular rigidity can also affect the facial features, resulting in a lack of expressivity and a mask-like appearance to the face.
People with Parkinson's Disease may also experience non-motor symptoms including depression, anxiety, restless sleep and dementia.
Treatment For Parkinson's Disease
Drugs containing Levodopa, or L-Dopa, have proven to be the most effective form of palliative therapy. Levodopa is a genetic precursor to dopamine that can be converted into the active chemical after entering the brain. During Parkinson's disease treatment, however, much of the administered Levodopa is converted outside the brain, causing side effects that can be as severe as the disease itself. Furthermore, over a period of years the patient can build up a tolerance to Levodopa. Increasingly larger doses are therefore needed to alleviate the symptoms as the disease progresses.
Sinemet offers a solution to these problems by combining Levodopa with Carbidopa, a dopamine agonist that reduces the breakdown of Levodopa before it reaches the brain. By combining these two active agents, Sinemet increases the amount of Levodopa converted inside the brain whilst minimising negative side effects such as nausea and constipation.
This means that Sinemet dosage is much safer throughout the early Parkinson's disease stages as well as during the later stages, when other forms of Levodopa are usually first administered. In many cases it takes just one dosage of Sinemet for a noticeable improvement to take place.
How Sinemet effects antiaging
Though most commonly known as a treatment for Parkinson's disease, the L-dopa ingredient in Sinemet also acts as a powerful antioxidant and growth hormone booster. Increasing growth hormone levels has been shown to counteract the aging process.
A study involving healthy 60 year old men taking 500mg of L-Dopa a day found their growth hormone levels had increased to those of men half their age. Benefits of higher growth hormone levels include:
Increased energy, stamina and mental powers
Deeper, more restful sleep
Enhanced mood and sense of wellbeing
Building muscle tone and greater fitness
Helping with weight loss
Lowering blood pressure and regulating cholesterol
Such displays of increased vitality and improved health in older people have led many to suggest Sinemet could be an effective antiaging drug, as well as an effective aid in Parkinson's disease treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sinemet®
Disclaimer: Please note that only your own physician can determine your precise needs, but in order to give you some information these answers are based upon the ‘average person’ and clinical / published results.
Is it true that B6 diminshes the effectiveness of Sinemet?
The general consensus is that vitamin B6 helps to breakdown L-dopa (the active constituent of Sinemet) into dopamine - which is the neurotransmitter ‘lost’ in Parkinson's. In the past this was a caution as the result could be a flood of dopamine leading to side effects, however since Sinemet is L-dopa combined with Carbidopa, this actually slows down the release of dopamine and helps to prevent cross over into blood.
The usual starting dose is one 25/100mg tablet taken three times a day. This dose will then be adjusted depending on the severity of the condition, the response to the treatment and whether the patient is taking other medicines. Do not stop taking Sinemet, or lower the dosage, without seeking medical advice first.
If Sinemet is being taken to increase levels of growth hormone, the tablets are best taken prior to bedtime.
As with all medicines, taking Sinemet can result in unwanted side effects in a few people. Some of the side effects can be quite serious, others very mild but whatever the side effect, it should be discussed with a health care professional as soon as possible. Do not be alarmed by the lists below, many people do not experience any side effects at all and if they do they are usually very mild.
Listed below are some side effects that, if experienced, are generally mild in nature:
Some side effects, whilst generally rare, are more serious and should be reported immediately to your doctor. These include:
If you experience any of the following side effects tell your doctor immediately or go to accident and emergency at your nearest hospital. Again such side effects are generally rare:
Do not take Sinemet with other dopamine enhancing substances (such as Deprenyl or Hydergine) unless you are being supervised by your doctor. A British trial revealed an increase in mortality in Parkinson's patients who took both L-dopa and Deprenyl. We do not agree with the findings of this trial as there appear to be a number of flaws in it and many other trials have shown only beneficial results.
If any of the following apply to you, you should discuss taking Sinemet with your doctor before you start taking it:
Before you start taking Sinemet, tell your doctor about any other medications that you are taking whether on prescription or bought over the counter as they could interfere with the actions of Sinemet.
Do not eat a high protein diet. If you do, the amount of levodopa absorbed by your body may be affected. If you are uncertain, your doctor, pharmacist or a dietician will be able to check your diet for you.
Pregnancy and breast feeding
If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, you should discuss this with your doctor before you start taking Sinemet. You will need to discuss the possible risks and benefits of using Sinemet.
Because one of the active ingredients in Sinemet passes into breast milk, you should not take Sinemet if you are breast feeding as your baby may potentially be harmed by it.
Sinemet is the safest form of L-dopa. This is because of its combination with Carbidopa, which helps prevent L-dopa crossing into blood before being delivered to the brain. Vitamin B6 helps to breakdown L-dopa into Dopamine, and for many years patients were told NOT to ingest B6 with L-dopa. Now the addition of Carbidopa in Sinemet has helped to prevent this process, and make it safer to use L-dopa. It is also believed to be beneficial if Vitamin C is taken with Sinemet as it is used in its pathways. Overall, Sinemet should remain a drug only for the most committed and knowledgeable life extensionist.