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Role of tolcapone in the treatment of Parkinson's disease

Role of tolcapone in the treatment of Parkinson's disease

Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics 7(12): 1649-1657

For decades, the cornerstone of treatment for Parkinson's disease (PD) has been levodopa, which provides a smooth clinical response early in the course of disease. However, many PD patients develop motor complications on long-term levodopa therapy. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a selective and widely distributed enzyme involved in the catabolism of levodopa. Tolcapone and entacapone are selective and potent COMT inhibitors that slow the metabolism of levodopa, thus prolonging its effects. While both drugs act peripherally, tolcapone also inhibits COMT in the CNS. Tolcapone has been shown to be an effective adjunct in the treatment of PD in Phase II and III clinical trials, improving motor fluctuations and reducing levodopa requirements. Rare reports of severe hepatotoxicity, however, limited tolcapone's implementation in the treatment of PD. A reappraisal of the data for tolcapone treatment in PD has found that this risk is very small if proper hepatic monitoring guidelines are followed. This article reviews the pharmacology and clinical data on tolcapone, with particular focus on drug safety and the future role of tolcapone therapy in the treatment of PD.

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Accession: 055614927

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 18052761

DOI: 10.1586/14737175.7.12.1649

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