Tasmar is a prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1998. Tasmar is prescribed as an adjunct (add-on) drug to Levodopa/Carbidopa if the latter drugs begin to lose effectiveness in treating motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Tasmar is also known by its drug name, tolcapone.
Tasmar is not appropriate for people with liver disease, a major psychotic disorder, or a history of hypersensitivity to tolcapone. Tasmar should not be used in people who have previously experienced nontraumatic rhabdomyalisis (a type of muscle damage), hyperpyrexia (high fever), or confusion in reaction to other medications. Tasmar must be used with caution in people with hypotension, colitis, mental illness, alcoholism, or problems with the heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, or blood vessels. Tasmar may not be appropriate for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Tasmar is a member of a class of drugs known as COMT inhibitors. Tasmar inhibits the action of a molecule called catechol-O-methyl transferase, which converts Levodopa into an ineffective form. Tasmar is believed to work by increasing the amount of Levodopa that reaches the brain, making Levodopa effective at significantly lower doses.
Some medications are available both as generic and branded products. Although generic and branded formulations of a drug contain the same active ingredients at the same concentrations, your body may react differently to different formulations. Check with your doctor before switching between drug brands or between generic and branded drugs.
How do I take it?
Your doctor will order blood tests to check your liver function before you begin taking Tasmar and regularly while you continue to take it.
Tasmar is taken orally as a tablet three times a day. Take one whole tablet with each dose; do not split, crush, or chew Tasmar.
Avoid driving or operating machinery until you are certain you understand how Tasmar affects you.
You may experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking Tasmar suddenly. If you decide to stop taking Tasmar, ask your doctor for a plan to decrease your dosage gradually.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Tasmar.
In 2010, a clinical studied quality of life in 202 people with Parkinson’s Disease taking Levodopa/Carbidopa and experiencing fluctuations. Those who took tolcapone (Tasmar) experienced significant improvements.
Ongoing studies indicate that tolcapone may also improve nonmotor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.
Tasmar may increase your risk of developing life-threatening liver damage.
Common side effects of Tasmar include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, problems sleeping, abnormal dreams, sweating, or feeling unsteady upon standing up. Tell your doctor if these side effects become worse. In combination with Levodopa/Carbidopa, Tasmar may cause your urine, sweat, or saliva to turn dark colors, which can stain clothes.
Inform your doctor immediately if you experience a fast, pounding heartbeat, fainting, fever, rigid, stiff, or painful muscles, trouble breathing, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, depression, increased urge to have sex or gamble, stools containing blood or a tarry substance, vomit containing blood or a substance resembling coffee grounds, dark-colored or red urine, fatigue, pale stools, yellowing of the skin or eyes, or pain or tenderness in the abdomen while taking Tasmar.
Many drugs can cause allergic reactions that in the most serious cases, can result in death. Seek immediate medical help if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction such as hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling in the face, throat, eyes, lips or tongue.