Uses

This medication is used with other medications (levodopa/carbidopa) to treat Parkinson's disease. Entacapone belongs to a class of drugs known as COMT inhibitors. Many people taking levodopa for Parkinson's have problems with the effects of the levodopa wearing off between scheduled doses, causing symptoms to return or worsen. Entacapone blocks a certain natural substance (COMT enzyme) that breaks down the levodopa in the body. This effect allows the levodopa to last longer in the system so that it doesn't wear off before the next dose.

How to use Comtan

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually with each prescribed dose of levodopa/carbidopa (up to 8 times daily).

The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. Do not suddenly stop taking this medication unless instructed to do so by your doctor. Doing so may cause your Parkinson's symptoms to become much worse.

Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse (such as your Parkinson's symptoms are not controlled).

Side Effects

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, unwanted/uncontrolled movements, increased sweating, drowsiness, tiredness, dry mouth, gas, and abdominal pain may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Lightheadedness or dizziness upon standing may also occur, especially during the first few weeks of treatment. To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

Your urine may turn brownish-orange. This effect is harmless.

Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Some people taking entacapone have fallen asleep suddenly during their usual daily activities (such as talking on the phone, driving). In some cases, sleep occurred without any feelings of drowsiness beforehand. This sleep effect may occur anytime during treatment with entacapone even if you have used this medication for a long time. If you experience increased sleepiness or fall asleep during the day, do not drive or take part in other possibly dangerous activities until you have discussed this effect with your doctor. Your risk of this sleep effect is increased by using alcohol or other medications that can make you drowsy. See also Precautions section.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: diarrhea that doesn't stop, mental/mood changes (such as confusion, hallucinations), unusual strong urges (such as increased gambling, increased sexual urges), fever, muscle stiffness, easy bleeding/bruising, sore/painful muscles, muscle weakness, trouble breathing, pain with breathing.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before taking entacapone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: alcoholism, liver problems, low blood pressure, mental/mood disorders (such as depression, schizophrenia), sleep disorders.

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis). See also Side Effects section.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness and confusion.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some of the products that may interact with this drug include: certain MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, metaxalone, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, tranylcypromine).

Other MAO inhibitors (safinamide, selegiline, rasagiline) may be used cautiously with close monitoring by your doctor. If you are taking rasagiline or selegiline for Parkinson's disease, ask your doctor if you should keep taking it.

Entacapone can slow down the removal of other drugs from your body, thereby affecting how they work. These affected drugs include apomorphine, dobutamine, and methyldopa. This is not a complete list.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness including alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, and opioid pain relievers (such as codeine).

Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.

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Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call 1-844-764-7669. Symptoms of overdose may include severe drowsiness, coma, confusion, agitation.

Notes Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Lab and/or medical tests (such as liver function) should be done while you are taking this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.

Missed Dose Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage Storage

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.