Parkinsons Disease Home > Comtan

Comtan is a medication that is often prescribed along with carbidopa-levodopa products for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. It has no activity for treating Parkinson's when used alone, but can help levodopa work better and last longer in the body. Comtan comes in tablet form and is taken with every carbidopa-levodopa dose. Potential side effects include dizziness, nausea, and involuntary body movements.

What Is Comtan?

Comtan® (entacapone) 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 does not have any activity for treating Parkinson's disease when used alone. The medication is useful for people who experience "wearing off" of their carbidopa-levodopa before each dose.
(Click Comtan Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes It?

Comtan is made by Orion Corporation, Inc. and marketed by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

How Does Comtan Work?

Comtan is always used in combination with carbidopa and levodopa; it has no effects against Parkinson's disease when used alone. It works by increasing blood levels of levodopa and helping it last longer in the body. The medication works by inhibiting an enzyme known as catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) that breaks down levodopa before it has a chance to reach the brain.

Effects of Comtan

In clinical studies, Comtan plus carbidopa-levodopa has been shown to be more effective than just carbidopa-levodopa for Parkinson's treatment. In these studies, people who were experiencing wearing-off fluctuations of their carbidopa-levodopa therapy were given either Comtan or a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredient) to take with each dose of their carbidopa-levodopa. These studies showed that Comtan helped carbidopa-levodopa work longer, with shorter "off" periods (when the medication did not work well) and longer "on" periods (when the medication worked well).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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