Skip to Content

Opicapone (Oral)

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Ongentys

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Capsule

Therapeutic Class: Antiparkinsonian

Pharmacologic Class: Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Inhibitor

Uses for opicapone

Opicapone is used together with levodopa and carbidopa combination to treat patients with Parkinson’s disease who are having “off” episodes.

Opicapone is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before using opicapone

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For opicapone, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to opicapone or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of opicapone in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of opicapone in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more sensitive to the effects of opicapone than younger adults.

Breastfeeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking opicapone, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using opicapone with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Iproniazid
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Nialamide
  • Phenelzine
  • Tranylcypromine

Using opicapone with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Dobutamine
  • Dopamine
  • Epinephrine
  • Isoproterenol
  • Metoclopramide
  • Norepinephrine

Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of opicapone. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Dyskinesia (abnormal muscle movements) or
  • Psychosis (mental disorder), or history of or
  • Sleep disorder—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • End-stage kidney disease or
  • Liver disease, severe—Avoid use in patients with these conditions.
  • Kidney disease, severe or
  • Liver disease, moderate—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of the slower removal of the medicine from the body.
  • Paraganglioma (tumor in the nerves) or
  • Pheochromocytoma (tumor in the adrenal gland) or
  • Tumor that secretes hormones called catecholamines—Do not use opicapone in patients with these conditions.

Proper use of opicapone

Take opicapone exactly as directed. Do not stop taking your medicine or change your dose unless ordered by your doctor. It is also important to not start taking other medicines for your Parkinson's disease without first talking with your doctor.

Opicapone usually comes with patient information leaflet. Read the instructions carefully and make sure you understand them before taking opicapone. If you have any questions, ask your doctor.

Take opicapone at bedtime. Do not eat 1 hour before and at least 1 hour after using opicapone.

Dosing

The dose of opicapone will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of opicapone. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For "off" episodes in Parkinson's disease:
      • Adults—50 milligrams (mg) once a day at bedtime.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose of opicapone, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions while using opicapone

It is very important that your doctor check you closely to make sure that opicapone is working properly. Blood and urine tests are needed to check for unwanted effects.

Do not use opicapone together with non-selective MAO inhibitors [eg, isocarboxazid (Marplan®), phenelzine (Nardil®), tranylcypromine (Parnate®)]. Using these medicines together may increase your risk for more serious side effects.

Opicapone may cause dizziness, fainting, or fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat, especially when used together with dobutamine, dopamine, epinephrine, isoproterenol, or norepinephrine. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.

Opicapone may make you drowsy and less alert than you are normally. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how opicapone affects you.

Opicapone may cause uncontrolled sudden movements (dyskinesia) or make such movements you already have worse or more frequent. Tell your doctor if this happens.

If you develop any unusual or strange thoughts and behavior while using opicapone, be sure to discuss it with your doctor. Other changes might be confusion, delusion (believing things that are not real), hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there), getting paranoid, suicidal thoughts, and unusual excitement, nervousness, or irritability.

Some people who have used opicapone had unusual changes in their behavior. Talk with your doctor right away if you start having problems with gambling or an increased interest in sex while using opicapone.

Do not stop using opicapone or change your dose without first checking with your doctor. Stopping opicapone suddenly may cause fever, confusion, or severe muscle stiffness.

Check with your doctor before using opicapone with alcohol or other medicines that affect the central nervous system (CNS). The use of alcohol or other medicines that affect the CNS with opicapone may worsen the side effects of opicapone, such as dizziness, poor concentration, drowsiness, unusual dreams, and trouble with sleeping. Some examples of medicines that affect the CNS are antihistamines or medicine for allergies or colds, sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicines, medicine for depression, medicine for anxiety, prescription pain medicine or narcotics, medicine for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, medicine for seizures or barbiturates, muscle relaxants, or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Opicapone side effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

  • Twitching, twisting, uncontrolled repetitive movements of the tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs

Less common

  • Blurred vision
  • confusion
  • dizziness, fainting, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • headache
  • nervousness
  • pounding in the ears
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • sweating
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Constipation

Less common

  • Dry mouth
  • trouble sleeping
  • weight loss

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.