The pharmacokinetics of the clinically determined optimal dose of controlled release levodopa/carbidopa 25/100 (Sinemet CR 25/100) after 12 weeks of therapy was studied in nine parkinsonian patients without prior exposure to levodopa. The pharmacokinetics of single oral doses of controlled release levodopa/carbidopa 25/100 and 50/200 were also compared. As predicted from the plasma half-life (1.7 +/- 0.3 h) and confirmed by morning trough levels, levodopa did not accumulate when controlled released levodopa/carbidopa 25/100 was administered twice daily. The absorption and bioavailability of CR 25/100 are minimally greater than CR 50/200. Controlled released levodopa/carbidopa 25/100 levodopa plasma levels peak slightly faster than controlled release levodopa/carbidopa 50/200.