"The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved carbidopa/levodopa enteral suspension (Duopa, AbbVie) for the treatment of motor fluctuations in patients with advanced Parkinson's disease, according to a company news release.
Before prescribing TASMAR, the physician should be thoroughly familiar with the details of this prescribing information.
TASMAR SHOULD NOT BE USED BY PATIENTS UNTIL THERE HAS BEEN A COMPLETE DISCUSSION OF THE RISKS AND THE PATIENT HAS PROVIDED WRITTEN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT THAT THE RISKS HAVE BEEN EXPLAINED (SEE PATIENT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RISKS SECTION).
Because of the risk of potentially fatal, acute fulminant liver failure, TASMAR (tolcapone) should ordinarily be used in patients with Parkinson's disease on l-dopa/carbidopa who are experiencing symptom fluctuations and are not responding satisfactorily to or are not appropriate candidates for other adjunctive therapies (see INDICATIONS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION sections).
Because of the risk of liver injury and because TASMAR, when it is effective, provides an observable symptomatic benefit, the patient who fails to show substantial clinical benefit within 3 weeks of initiation of treatment, should be withdrawn from TASMAR.
TASMAR therapy should not be initiated if the patient exhibits clinical evidence of liver disease or two SGPT/ALT or SGOT/AST values greater than the upper limit of normal. Patients with severe dyskinesia or dystonia should be treated with caution (see PRECAUTIONS: Rhabdomyolysis).
PATIENTS WHO DEVELOP EVIDENCE OF HEPATOCELLULAR INJURY WHILE ON TASMAR AND ARE WITHDRAWN FROM THE DRUG FOR ANY REASON MAY BE AT INCREASED RISK FOR LIVER INJURY IF TASMAR IS REINTRODUCED. ACCORDINGLY, SUCH PATIENTS SHOULD NOT ORDINARILY BE CONSIDERED FOR RETREATMENT.
Cases of severe hepatocellular injury, including fulminant liver failure resulting in death, have been reported in postmarketing use. As of May 2005, 3 cases of fatal fulminant hepatic failure have been reported from more than 40,000 patient years of worldwide use. This incidence may be 10- to 100-fold higher than the background incidence in the general population. Underreporting of cases may lead to significant underestimation of the increased risk associated with the use of TASMAR. All 3 cases were reported within the first six months of initiation of treatment with TASMAR. Analysis of the laboratory monitoring data in over 3,400 TASMAR-treated patients participating in clinical trials indicated that increases in SGPT/ALT or SGOT/AST, when present, generally occurred within the first 6 months of treatment with TASMAR.
A prescriber who elects to use TASMAR in face of the increased risk of liver injury is strongly advised to monitor patients for evidence of emergent liver injury. Patients should be advised of the need for self-monitoring for both the classical signs of liver disease (e.g., clay colored stools, jaundice) and the nonspecific ones (eg, fatigue, loss of appetite, lethargy).
Although a program of periodic laboratory monitoring for evidence of hepatocellular injury is recommended, it is not clear that periodic monitoring of liver enzymes will prevent the occurrence of fulminant liver failure. However, it is generally believed that early detection of drug-induced hepatic injury along with immediate withdrawal of the suspect drug enhances the likelihood for recovery. Accordingly, the following liver monitoring program is recommended.
Before starting treatment with TASMAR, the physician should conduct appropriate tests to exclude the presence of liver disease. In patients determined to be appropriate candidates for treatment with TASMAR, serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (SGPT/ALT) and serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT/AST) levels should be determined at baseline and periodically (i.e. every 2 to 4 weeks) for the first 6 months of therapy. After the first six months, periodic monitoring is recommended at intervals deemed clinically relevant. Although more frequent monitoring increases the chances of early detection, the precise schedule for monitoring is a matter of clinical judgment. If the dose is increased to 200 mg tid (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION section), liver enzyme monitoring should take place before increasing the dose and then be conducted every 2 to 4 weeks for the following 6 months of therapy. After six months, periodic monitoring is recommended at intervals deemed clinically relevant.
TASMAR should be discontinued if SGPT/ALT or SGOT/AST levels exceed 2 times the upper limit of normal or if clinical signs and symptoms suggest the onset of hepatic dysfunction (persistent nausea, fatigue, lethargy, anorexia, jaundice, dark urine, pruritus, and right upper quadrant tenderness).
TASMAR® is available as tablets containing 100 mg tolcapone.
Tolcapone, an inhibitor of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), is used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease as an adjunct to levodopa/carbidopa therapy. It is a yellow, odorless, non-hygroscopic, crystalline compound with a relative molecular mass of 273.25. The chemical name of tolcapone is 3,4-dihydroxy-4'-methyl-5nitrobenzophenone. Its empirical formula is C14H11NO5 and its structural formula is:
Inactive ingredients: Core: lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, dibasic calcium phosphate anhydrous, povidone K-30, sodium starch glycolate, talc and magnesium stearate. Film coating: hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, titanium dioxide, talc, ethylcellulose, triacetin and sodium lauryl sulfate, with the following dye system: yellow and red iron oxide.
What are the possible side effects of tolcapone (Tasmar)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- feeling like you might pass out;
- fever, stiff muscles, confusion, and sweating (especially when you first start taking tolcapone);
- tremors (uncontrolled...
What are the precautions when taking tolcapone (Tasmar)?
See also Warning section.
Before taking tolcapone, 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, low blood pressure, Parkinson's with severe movement problems, liver problems, mental/mood disorders (such as psychosis, schizophrenia), history of a certain muscle problem (rhabdomyolysis), fever and confusion caused by any drug.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform...
Last reviewed on RxList: 5/24/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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