EPAR summary for the public
This document is a summary of the European Public Assessment Report (EPAR). It explains how the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) assessed the studies performed, to reach their recommendations on how to use the medicine.
If you need more information about your medical condition or your treatment, read the Package Leaflet (also part of the EPAR) or contact your doctor or pharmacist. If you want more information on the basis of the CHMP recommendations, read the Scientific Discussion (also part of the EPAR).
What is Comtan?
Comtan is a medicine that contains the active substance entacapone. It is available as
What is Comtan used for?
Comtan is used to treat patients with Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that causes shaking, slow movement and muscle stiffness. Comtan is used together with levodopa (either a combination of levodopa and benserazide or a combination of levodopa and carbidopa) when the patient is having ‘fluctuations’ towards the end of the period between two doses of their medication. Fluctuations happen when the effects of the medication wear off and symptoms
The medicine can only be obtained with a prescription.
How is Comtan used?
Comtan is only used in combination either with levodopa and benserazide or with levodopa and carbidopa. It is taken as one tablet with each dose of the other medicine, up to a maximum of 10 tablets a day. It can be taken with or without food. When patients first add Comtan to their exiting medication, they may need to take a lower daily dose of levodopa, either by changing how often they take it, or by reducing the amount of levodopa taken in each dose. Comtan can only be used with conventional combinations of levodopa. It should not be used with combinations that are ‘modified release’ (when the levodopa is released slowly over a few hours).
How does Comtan work?
In patients with Parkinson’s disease, the cells in the brain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine begin to die and the amount of dopamine in the brain decreases. The patients then lose their ability to control their movements reliably. The active substance in Comtan, entacapone, works to restore the levels of dopamine in the parts of the brain that control movement and
How has Comtan been studied?
Comtan has been studied in a total of 376 patients with Parkinson’s disease, in two
What benefit has Comtan shown during the studies?
Comtan was more effective than placebo in both studies. In the first study, adding Comtan increased the ‘on’ time by 1 hour and 18 minutes more than adding placebo. In the second study, the ‘on’ time was increased by 35 minutes compared with placebo.
What is the risk associated with Comtan?
The most common side effects with Comtan (seen in between 1 and 10 patients in 100) are dyskinesia (uncontrollable movements), nausea (feeling sick) and harmless urine discoloration. For the full list of all side effects reported with Comtan, see the Package Leaflet.
Comtan should not be used in people who may be hypersensitive (allergic) to entacapone or any of the other ingredients. Comtan should not be used in patients with:
•phaeochromocytoma (a tumour of the adrenal gland);
•a history of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (a dangerous nervous system disorder usually caused
by antipsychotic medicines) or rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of muscle fibres).
Comtan should not be used together with other medicines that belong to the group ‘monoamine oxidase inhibitors’ (a type of antidepressant). See the Summary of Product Characteristics (also part of the EPAR) for full details.
Why has Comtan been approved?
The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) decided that Comtan’s benefits are greater than its risks as an adjunct to standard preparations of levodopa/benserazide or levodopa/carbidopa for use in patients with Parkinson’s disease and
Other information about Comtan:
The European Commission granted a marketing authorisation valid throughout the European Union for Comtan to Novartis Europharm Limited on 22 September 1998. The marketing authorisation was renewed on 22 September 2003 and on 22 September 2008.
The full EPAR for Comtan is available here.
This summary was last updated in