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Parkinson's Movement
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Suggestions for timing food and medications?

I have read many posts about the importance of spacing your Sinemet from your food in order to get the most benefit from Sinemet.

I take 3doses a day 5 hours apart. I have been eating with each dose because when i took it in the morning it was making me throw up. I did not feel any improvement so my Dr. increased my Sinemet from 3 to 6 to 9 a day. I am currently tapering back down slowly as i feel a lot of brain fog .

This morning i took 3 sinemet with a piece of toast and coffee,. i was not nauseous but i did get brain foggy. I ate my breakfast 1 hour later.

i have also been taking my sinemet and having breakfast soon after getting up. But i read a recent post saying that if you feel ok you dont have to. I am stiff first thing upon rising but with walking a bit i can manage.

If i was going to make a schedule of when to eat my meals and protein what do you recommend? I am really not sure. I have been on sinemet for 2 years and have been taking it wrong for two years... that is why my dr kept increasing my dose..

EX; 7:30 eat breakfast.. when can i EAT? lunch/dinner?

9:00 meds

2:00 meds

7:00 meds

6 Replies

My MDS neuro recommends taking it 30-60 minutes before a meal or 60 minutes after. I just started about three weeks ago. I've had to delay eating for that half hour at times because I didn't take the Sinemet first. So far it's working well. I lost my tremor for the most part and best of all my energy is way better. I plan on learning how to get reminders on my phone.

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I'm retired which makes planning easier but I take Sinemet at 8am, 12.30 & 5.30 pm, breakfast at 9am, lunch at 1.30 & dinner anytime after 6.30pm. If I need to start the day earlier I bring the schedule forward by an hour or two & take an extra dose in the evening Works well for me.

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If you have any protein in the gut when you take your sinemet then the protein cobines with the sinemet and it does not get into the brain. You must take the sinemet at least 45 minutes before eating or no sooner than 90 minutes after eating. You may say that you have to eat sooner but that means that you are not getting the sinemet into the brain. Hence your doctor is telling you to take more. What a waste!

Look up on Google to see what foodstuff has protein in it. You will be surprised.

You mention that the sinemet did nothing for you. That could be explained in the first paragraph or it could be that the sinemet is not able to do anything for YOUR Pd. If you HAVE TO TAKE MEDICATION then find some other Pd medication that does work.

Otherwise, read my profile and see what I have managed to do to overcome many of my Pd symptoms.


There is no one size fits all for the treatment of PD and until Drs stop over medicating and allow us to experiment with our meds too many people will not be getting the best control of their symptoms.

For 5 years I was on just Azelect and Premipexole but started to get swollen feet and shortness of breath with the Premipexole.

Dr suggested I reduce Premipexole from 3.2 to 2.67 and start on Madopar 25/100 3 times a day and one slow release at night.

I asked myself: what are my symptoms? How bad are they? Will the Madopar make a difference?

most of my symptoms are non motor. I don't have a tremor, I have very little stiffness( no more than a 68 yr old without PD, )I don't freeze,fall I amm a little slower than I d like and I do drag my left foot/ leg when I get tired. I cycle 50 km twice a week, play tennis 2 hrs twice a week and manage 10000 steps most days.

So.... I decided to try just one Madopar in the morning with the Azelect and Premipexole.

Works fine. Occasionally need to take a second one in the afternoon but on the whole don't need to.I certainly don't need 3 a day let alone the slow release at night.

I'm not being sparing with the meds , I'm taking what I need to give me the best quality of life. My pd Dr and nurse are absolutely fine with this.


Hello Goodmanm, I've not posted in some time, but your post/replies caught my attention. I agree with Bazillion, medication response varies between individuals. There is no one ideal medication regime. Unfortunately most of us find our way through trial and error--not always a lot of fun! In addition, our response to a medication may (and often does) change as our PD progresses.

In regard to taking sinemet on an empty stomach and/or with no protein, this varies greatly between patients. Early on in sinemet's usage, proteins may not have as great an impact on sinemet's effectiveness. This is also true whether or not sinemet is taken on an empty stomach. If following this regime makes you nauseated or causes vomiting, it only makes sense to take the medication with a bit of bland food, i.e., dry toast, crackers, etc.

One last point-I read that your Dr. increased your dosage--I understand that taking too little sinemet can tend toward increasing the possibility for nausea--though its been a while since I've researched it, I think there may be some research/reports on this.

I have battled with the nausea/sinemet battle for nearly 10 years. Hellish at times!! And unfortunately, now is one of those times. On that note--I need to find something on the bland and boring side to nibble on. . .

Best to you--


Everybody is different, but I found that taking Sinemet about one hour before meals was about right. The Sinemet CR or controlled release can be taken at any time, regardless of food. I understand from the medical team that I see, that it is better to keep the dosage as low as possible for as long as possible.

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