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Tocalpone Parkinson's Disease Medication Causing Liver Injury Problems Include Jaundice

Tasmar, (generic tolcapone), is a Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and is used to treat some Parkinson's disease symptoms. Tasmar was first approved in January 1998, is often used in combination with Parkinson medicines levodopa and carbidopa.   After it was available for less than a year, Tasmar warnings were issued on Tasmar product labeling. Physicians prescribing Tasmar were advised of new fatal liver injury concerns related to the use of Tasmar.

The drug has been linked to liver failure in a significant number of the 60,000 people who have been given the drug. Tasmar users are 100 times more likely to develop liver problems. The manufacturer of Tasmar calls the liver damage "hepatocellular injury." Manufacturer Roche pharmaceutical warned doctors of the increased risk of liver problems in patients treated with Tasmar and recommends Tasmar be prescribed only to patients not responding to other available medications.

Adverse effects of Tasmar led the FDA to recommend the drug only for patients without severe movement abnormalities and those not responding to alternate medications. Tasmar users were directed to watch for signs of liver disease, including jaundice and fatigue. If subjects failed to gain substantial benefit within three weeks of initial Tasmar treatment, they are withdrawn from the medication.