Tasmar is a medication commonly used for treating Parkinson's disease. It must be used in combination with carbidopa-levodopa products, as it is not effective at treating Parkinson's disease without the use of levodopa. This prescription medication works by increasing blood levels of levodopa, helping it last longer in the body. Possible side effects of Tasmar include nausea, sleep problems, and involuntary movements.
What Is Tasmar?
Tasmar® (tolcapone) 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. Tasmar 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 Tasmar, people should only use the drug if other alternatives are not acceptable or do not work.
Tasmar is made by Legacy Pharmaceuticals (for the 100 mg tablets) or Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc. (for the 200 mg tablets) and marketed by Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America.
How Does Tasmar Work?
Tasmar is always used in combination with carbidopa and levodopa; it is not effective at treating Parkinson's disease when used alone. The drug works by increasing blood levels of levodopa and helping it last longer in the body. Tasmar works by inhibiting an enzyme known as catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) that breaks down levodopa before it has a chance to reach the brain.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Tasmar [package insert]. Bridgewater, NJ: Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC;2013 May.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed March 8, 2012.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
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