Tolcapone is used together with other medicines to treat Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's disease is a disorder that affects movement of a person, causing symptoms such as tremors, muscle stiffness, slowed movement and impaired balance or walking. It is used to improve the medicinal effect of another Parkinson's disease medicine called levodopa.
Tolcapone cannot cure Parkinson's disease, but it can improve the quality of life for people who have the disease.
Take Tolcapone exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Take the first Tolcapone dose of the day at the same time as levodopa.
You may take Tolcapone with or without food. Swallow the tablet whole as it has a bitter taste. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Tolcapone must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking Tolcapone even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed otherwise, as stopping it suddenly could worsen your condition.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- adrenal gland tumour called phaeochromocytoma
- dyskinesia (a disorder that causes uncontrollable movement such as jerking or twitching)
- history of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (a neurological disorder characterized by muscle rigidity, fever and blood pressure changes)
- history of rhabdomyolysis (abnormal muscle breakdown that can cause kidney damage)
- fever related to your medications
- liver disease
as Tolcapone may not be suitable for you.
DO NOT take Tolcapone with medicines used to treat depression, such as phenelzine and tranylcypromine.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- kidney disease
- mental illness
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
For as long as you are taking Tolcapone, you will need to have regular blood tests to check your body's response to the medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have blood tests.
Tolcapone may cause dizziness and tiredness. Tolcapone may also cause you to suddenly fall asleep during your daily activities such as eating and watching television. You may not feel drowsy before you fall asleep. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Tolcapone may cause your blood pressure to fall suddenly when you get up from a sitting or lying down position and you may feel giddy. To minimise this problem, stand up slowly.
Other side effects include any of the following: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, stomach pain, dry mouth, headache, muscle cramps and sleep disturbances. These side effects are common especially when you have just started taking Tolcapone.
Tolcapone may turn your urine a very dark yellow in colour. This is harmless, do not be alarmed.
Let your doctor know if you experience:
- uncontrollable movements such as twitching and jerking
- muscle stiffness accompanied by fever
- confusion and hallucinations (seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not existent)
- unusual changes in your behaviour (having compulsive and impulsive behaviour)
Some side effects may be serious, although they are not common. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience:
- yellowing of the skin or the eyes
- pain near the stomach area
- severe or persistent nausea or tiredness
- itchy skin
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not take Tolcapone with medicines used to treat depression e.g. phenelzine, tranylcypromine.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking warfarin, a blood-thinning medicine.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.