Tolcapone is a medication that is specifically licensed to treat Parkinson's disease. It is only approved for use with carbidopa-levodopa products, and works by increasing blood levels of levodopa. Tolcapone is not suitable for everyone. Before using the drug, make sure your healthcare provider is aware of any other health conditions you have and any other medications you are taking.
Tolcapone (Tasmar®) is a prescription medication used to treat Parkinson's disease. It is always used in combination with carbidopa-levodopa products (Sinemet®, Sinemet CR, or Parcopa®), as it is not effective at treating Parkinson's disease without the use of levodopa. Tolcapone is useful for people who experience otherwise uncontrollable fluctuations in their symptoms, such as "wearing off" of their carbidopa-levodopa before each dose.
Due to the risk of potentially fatal liver failure that is sometimes caused by tolcapone, people should only use this drug if other alternatives are not acceptable or do not work.
Tolcapone is never used without carbidopa-levodopa, as it is not effective at treating Parkinson's disease without levodopa.
Common side effects of tolcapone (when combined with carbidopa-levodopa) include but are not limited to:
- Involuntary movements (dyskinesia)
- Sleeping problems (such as insomnia)
- Uncontrollable, sustained muscle contractions (dystonia).
(Click Side Effects of Tolcapone to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)