Comtan or the generic Entacapone is a medication your doctor may prescribe as part of your Levodopa/Carbidopa regimen to treat “end-of-dose wearing-off” in those with Parkinson’s disease. This wearing-off indicates the return of motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s that occurs near the end of your Levodopa/Carbidopa dose. Motor symptoms include rigidity, slow movements, tremors, and postural stability while non-motor symptoms can involve drooling, difficulty swallowing, depression, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
When taken along with Levodopa/Carbidopa, Comtan works as a catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitor. This means Comtan impedes the COMT enzymes from breaking down Levodopa in your body in order to minimize the instability of your Parkinson’s symptoms. With COMT altered, there are more neurotransmitters available, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine that help to stabilize your motor and non-motor abilities. There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but Comtan can provide you with help you need to be able to perform everyday tasks and be less dependent on others.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a central nervous system disorder that occurs from the loss of cells in a region of your brain called the substantia nigra and various other areas. The substantia nigra cells produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter or chemical messenger that is responsible for sending signals within your brain that involve coordination of movement. With a decrease of dopamine, the neurons do not fire normally and your movements become affected causing you to walk slow and unsteady with tremors that can make eating, writing, and dressing yourself more difficult. Levodopa is usually the first-line course of treatment along with Carbidopa. Your brain will convert Levodopa into dopamine; Carbidopa has no effect on the symptoms of PD as it is only useful for enhancing the effects of Levodopa. As time goes on, the effects of Levodopa begins to diminish and some symptoms return. Talk to your doctor about an Rx for Comtan to help prolong the effects of Levodopa by inhibiting the enzymes that cause it to break down.
Parkinson’s disease usually affects those older than fifty years of age. If you have early onset PD, you should ask your doctor about the risks of taking Comtan during a pregnancy, if you become pregnant, or while breast feeding. Discuss your medical history with your doctor and list any OTC or Rx drugs you take or use, including herbal remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements to be certain that Comtan is the right medicine for you.
Talk to your doctor before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medication while taking Comtan as this may affect how it will work for you. You should not drive or perform any task that may be unsafe until you know how you will react to Comtan. Ask your doctor about consuming alcohol while taking Comtan to avoid an adverse reaction or increased side effects.