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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking entacapone (Comtan)?
You should not use entacapone if you are allergic to it, or if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days.
To make sure you can safely take entacapone, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
You may have increased sexual urges, unusual urges to gamble, or other intense urges while taking this medication. Talk with your doctor if you believe you have any intense or unusual urges while taking entacapone.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether entacapone will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
It is not known whether entacapone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not take entacapone without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Some people taking Parkinson's disease medications have developed skin cancer (melanoma). However, people with Parkinson's disease may have a higher risk of melanoma. Talk to your doctor about this risk and what skin symptoms to watch for. You may need to have regular skin exams.
Entacapone may cause hallucinations (the sensation of hearing or seeing something that is not there), most commonly among elderly people. Call your doctor if you experience hallucinations.
How should I take entacapone (Comtan)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
Entacapone must be taken together with carbidopa and levodopa. Entacapone used alone will not treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
Entacapone can be taken with or without food. Taking the medicine with food may help prevent nausea, which is a common side effect of entacapone.
Drink plenty of liquids while you are taking entacapone.
Call your doctor if you have ongoing vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are sweating more than usual. You can easily become dehydrated while taking this medication, which can lead to severely low blood pressure or a serious electrolyte imbalance.
Do not stop using entacapone without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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