ENTACAPONE- entacapone tablet, film coated
Mylan Institutional Inc.

Rx only

Prescribing Information

Entacapone is available as tablets containing 200 mg entacapone.

Entacapone is an inhibitor of catechol- O -methyltransferase (COMT), used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease as an adjunct to levodopa and carbidopa therapy. It is a nitrocatechol-structured compound with a relative molecular mass of 305.29. The chemical name of entacapone is (E)-2-cyano-3-(3,4-dihydroxy-5-nitrophenyl)-N,N-diethyl-2-propenamide. Its empirical formula is C 14 H 15 N 3 O 5 and its structural formula is:

Entacapone Structural Formula

The inactive ingredients of the Entacapone Tablets are microcrystalline cellulose, mannitol, croscarmellose sodium, hydrogenated vegetable oil, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, polysorbate 80, glycerol 85%, sucrose, magnesium stearate, yellow iron oxide, red iron oxide, and titanium dioxide.


Mechanism of Action

Entacapone is a selective and reversible inhibitor of COMT.

In mammals, COMT is distributed throughout various organs with the highest activities in the liver and kidney. COMT also occurs in the heart, lung, smooth and skeletal muscles, intestinal tract, reproductive organs, various glands, adipose tissue, skin, blood cells, and neuronal tissues, especially in glial cells. COMT catalyzes the transfer of the methyl group of S-adenosyl-L-methionine to the phenolic group of substrates that contain a catechol structure. Physiological substrates of COMT include dopa, catecholamines (dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine) and their hydroxylated metabolites. The function of COMT is the elimination of biologically active catechols and some other hydroxylated metabolites. In the presence of a decarboxylase inhibitor, COMT becomes the major metabolizing enzyme for levodopa, catalyzing the metabolism to 3-methoxy-4-hydroxy-L-phenylalanine (3-OMD) in the brain and periphery.

The mechanism of action of entacapone is believed to be through its ability to inhibit COMT and alter the plasma pharmacokinetics of levodopa. When entacapone is given in conjunction with levodopa and an aromatic amino acid decarboxylase inhibitor, such as carbidopa, plasma levels of levodopa are greater and more sustained than after administration of levodopa and an aromatic amino acid decarboxylase inhibitor alone. It is believed that at a given frequency of levodopa administration, these more sustained plasma levels of levodopa result in more constant dopaminergic stimulation in the brain, leading to greater effects on the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The higher levodopa levels also lead to increased levodopa adverse effects, sometimes requiring a decrease in the dose of levodopa.

In animals, while entacapone enters the central nervous system (CNS) to a minimal extent, it has been shown to inhibit central COMT activity. In humans, entacapone inhibits the COMT enzyme in peripheral tissues. The effects of entacapone on central COMT activity in humans have not been studied.


COMT Activity in Erythrocytes

Studies in healthy volunteers have shown that entacapone reversibly inhibits human erythrocyte COMT activity after oral administration. There was a linear correlation between entacapone dose and erythrocyte COMT inhibition, the maximum inhibition being 82% following an 800 mg single dose. With a 200 mg single dose of entacapone, maximum inhibition of erythrocyte COMT activity is on average 65% with a return to baseline level within 8 hours.

Effect on the Pharmacokinetics of Levodopa and its Metabolites

When 200 mg entacapone is administered together with levodopa and carbidopa, it increases the area under the curve (AUC) of levodopa by approximately 35%, and the elimination half-life of levodopa is prolonged from 1.3 hours to 2.4 hours. In general, the average peak levodopa plasma concentration and the time of its occurrence (T max of 1 hour) are unaffected. The onset of effect occurs after the first administration and is maintained during long-term treatment. Studies in Parkinson’s disease patients suggest that the maximal effect occurs with 200 mg entacapone. Plasma levels of 3-OMD are markedly and dose-dependently decreased by entacapone when given with levodopa and carbidopa.

Pharmacokinetics of Entacapone

Entacapone pharmacokinetics are linear over the dose range of 5 mg to 800 mg, and are independent of levodopa and carbidopa coadministration. The elimination of entacapone is biphasic, with an elimination half-life of 0.4 hour to 0.7 hour based on the β-phase and 2.4 hours based on the γ‑phase. The γ‑phase accounts for approximately 10% of the total AUC. The total body clearance after intravenous administration is 850 mL per min. After a single 200 mg dose of Entacapone Tablets, the C max is approximately 1.2 mcg per mL.


Entacapone is rapidly absorbed, with a T max of approximately 1 hour. The absolute bioavailability following oral administration is 35%. Food does not affect the pharmacokinetics of entacapone.


The volume of distribution of entacapone at steady state after intravenous injection is small (20 L). Entacapone does not distribute widely into tissues due to its high plasma protein binding. Based on in vitro studies, the plasma protein binding of entacapone is 98% over the concentration range of 0.4 mcg per mL to 50 mcg per mL. Entacapone binds mainly to serum albumin.

Metabolism and Elimination

Entacapone is almost completely metabolized prior to excretion, with only a very small amount (0.2% of dose) found unchanged in urine. The main metabolic pathway is isomerization to the cis -isomer, followed by direct glucuronidation of the parent and cis -isomer; the glucuronide conjugate is inactive. After oral administration of a 14 C-labeled dose of entacapone, 10% of labeled parent and metabolite is excreted in urine and 90% in feces.

Special Populations

Entacapone pharmacokinetics are independent of age. No formal gender studies have been conducted. Racial representation in clinical studies was largely limited to Caucasians; therefore, no conclusions can be reached about the effect of Entacapone Tablets on groups other than Caucasian.

Hepatic Impairment

A single 200 mg dose of entacapone, without levodopa and dopa decarboxylase inhibitor coadministration, showed approximately 2-fold higher AUC and C max values in patients with a history of alcoholism and hepatic impairment (n = 10) compared to normal subjects (n = 10). All patients had biopsy-proven liver cirrhosis caused by alcohol. According to Child-Pugh grading seven patients with liver disease had mild hepatic impairment and three patients had moderate hepatic impairment. As only about 10% of the entacapone dose is excreted in urine as parent compound and conjugated glucuronide, biliary excretion appears to be the major route of excretion of this drug. Consequently, entacapone should be administered with care to patients with biliary obstruction.

Renal Impairment

The pharmacokinetics of entacapone have been investigated after a single 200 mg entacapone dose, without levodopa and dopa decarboxylase inhibitor coadministration, in a specific renal impairment study. There were three groups: normal subjects (n = 7; creatinine clearance greater than 1.12 mL per sec per 1.73 m 2), moderate impairment (n = 10; creatinine clearance ranging from 0.60 mL per sec per 1.73 m 2 to 0.89 mL per sec per 1.73 m 2), and severe impairment (n = 7; creatinine clearance ranging from 0.20 mL per sec per 1.73 m 2 to 0.44 mL per sec per 1.73 m 2). No important effects of renal function on the pharmacokinetics of entacapone were found.

Drug Interactions

See PRECAUTIONS, Drug Interactions.

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