Entacapone

Pronunciation

Generic Name: entacapone (en-TAK-a-pone)
Brand Name: Comtan

Entacapone is used for:

Treating Parkinson disease in certain patients. Entacapone must be taken along with levodopa/carbidopa.

Entacapone is a catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitor. It works by increasing the levels of levodopa/carbidopa in the brain, enhancing its effectiveness.

Do NOT use entacapone if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in entacapone

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: Parkinson’s Disease - 10 Clinical Fast Facts

Before using entacapone:

Some medical conditions may interact with entacapone. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have liver disease, mental or mood problems, sleep problems, or a history of a severe muscle problem called rhabdomyolysis
  • if you have taken certain monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) (eg, phenelzine, tranylcypromine) within the past 14 days

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with entacapone. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Ampicillin, chloramphenicol, cholestyramine, erythromycin, MAOIs (eg, phenelzine, selegiline, tranylcypromine), probenecid, or rifampin because they may increase the risk of entacapone's side effects
  • Apomorphine, bitolterol, dobutamine, dopamine, isoetharine, isoproterenol, methyldopa, sympathomimetics (eg, epinephrine), or warfarin because their actions and the risk of their side effects may be increased by entacapone

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if entacapone may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use entacapone:

Use entacapone as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take entacapone by mouth with or without food.
  • Entacapone should be given each time a dose of levodopa/carbidopa is given.
  • If you miss a dose of entacapone, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use entacapone.

Important safety information:

  • Entacapone may cause dizziness and drowsiness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use entacapone with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Entacapone may cause dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of dizziness, light-headedness, or weakness.
  • Check with your doctor before you drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using entacapone; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Entacapone may cause diarrhea. It typically begins within 4 to 12 weeks of starting entacapone, but may occur during the first week or many months after starting it. Rare cases of prolonged diarrhea caused by colitis (inflammation of the large intestine) have occurred in patients taking entacapone. Contact your doctor if you have severe, persistent, or watery diarrhea.
  • If diarrhea occurs, you will need to take care not to become dehydrated. Contact your doctor for instructions.
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a possibly fatal syndrome that can be caused by entacapone. Symptoms may include fever, stiff muscles, confusion, abnormal thinking, fast or irregular heartbeat, and sweating. Contact your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms.
  • Some patients who take entacapone have reported suddenly falling asleep while performing daily activities (eg, driving, eating, talking). Some patients did not experience drowsiness and felt that they were alert immediately before suddenly falling asleep. Some of these events have been reported as late as 1 year after entacapone was started. Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other activities that could be dangerous. Inform your doctor if you experience unusual drowsiness or sleepiness while using entacapone.
  • Some people have experienced new, unusual, or increased urges (eg, gambling, sexual urges) while using entacapone. Tell your doctor right away if you notice such effects.
  • Patients with Parkinson disease may have an increased risk of developing a certain type of skin cancer (melanoma). It is not known if entacapone also increases the risk of melanoma. You may need to have skin exams while you are using entacapone. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Entacapone may color the urine a brownish orange. This is normal and is not a cause for concern.
  • Do not stop taking entacapone suddenly. If therapy is stopped, it should be tapered gradually.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take entacapone before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Lab tests may be performed while you use entacapone. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Entacapone should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using entacapone while you are pregnant. It is not known if entacapone is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use entacapone, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of entacapone:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Changes in the color of urine (brownish orange); constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; nausea; stomach pain; tiredness; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; confusion; fainting; fever; hallucinations; mental, mood, or behavior changes; muscle pain, stiffness, or rigidity; new or increased involuntary movements; severe or persistent dizziness or nausea; severe, persistent, or watery diarrhea; shortness of breath; unusual skin growths or change in the appearance of a mole.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of entacapone:

Store entacapone at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep entacapone out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about entacapone, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Entacapone is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take entacapone or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about entacapone. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to entacapone. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using entacapone.

Issue Date: December 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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