Tolcapone, a selective catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitor for treatment of Parkinson's disease.

PMID 9917075


Tolcapone is a selective peripheral and central catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitor recently approved as adjunctive therapy in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease who are already being treated with a levodopa-peripheral dopa decarboxylase inhibitor (DDI) combination. Tolcapone potentiates and prolongs the effect of levodopa in the central nervous system (CNS) by enhancing levodopa's delivery to the CNS and slowing dopamine's central metabolism. A short terminal disposition half-life of 2 hours mandates dosing 3 times/day. Dosage adjustment is generally unnecessary in the presence of mild to moderate renal and hepatic impairment. Coadministration of tolcapone with levodopa-DDI results in significant amelioration of the wearing-off and on-off phenomena and frequently allows significant levodopa dosage reduction. In patients with stable disease, tolcapone improves "on" time. As might be expected from its potentiation of levodopa effects, dopaminergic side effects are prominent with this agent. Although the main objective of drug treatment in Parkinson's disease remains clinical improvement with an optimum dose and frequency of levodopa administration, tolcapone may prove a useful adjunct to such therapy, especially in the presence of the wearing-off and on-off phenomena. The relative merits of this agent vis-a-vis dopamine receptor agonists are somewhat unclear at present. However, recent guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology suggest that a COMT inhibitor be added to levodopa-dopamine agonist therapy in patients with advanced disease.

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Tolcapone, ≥98% (HPLC)