Compare tolcapone vs. Rytary

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Tasmar
(tolcapone)

Rytary
(carbidopa / levodopa)

Treats Parkinson's disease. Taking Tasmar (tolcapone) is the next step to control Parkinson's disease when carbidopa/levodopa don't work as well, however you might be more likely to have liver damage.Treats Parkinson's disease. Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) can be used to treat Parkinson's disease, but it can be expensive.
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Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Tasmar (tolcapone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
tolcaponeRytary
  • Difficulty controlling movement 22%
  • Nausea 12%
  • Sleeping problems 6%
  • Excessive dreaming 4%
  • Muscle cramps 2%
  • Loss of appetite 6%
  • Sleepiness 5%
  • Lightheadedness from standing 3%
  • Diarrhea 8%
More tolcapone side effects »
  • Nausea 5%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Dry mouth 2%
  • Abnormal dreams 2%
  • Difficulty controlling movements 2%
  • Anxiety 2%
  • Constipation 1%
More Rytary side effects »
How it works
tolcaponeRytary
Tasmar (tolcapone) is an enzyme inhibitor that stops levodopa from being broken down. It causes higher levodopa in the brain, which relieves the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) is a combination of carbidopa and levodopa. Levodopa enters the brain and relieves the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Carbidopa prevents levodopa from being broken down before it can enter the brain.
Type of medication
tolcaponeRytary
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
tolcaponeRytary
  • Pill
  • Extended release capsule
Used for
tolcaponeRytary
Risk factors for serious side effects
tolcaponeRytary
  • Liver damage
  • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
    • Taking antipsychotic medicines
      • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
      Detailed Tasmar (tolcapone) risks & warnings »
      • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
      • Stopping Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) suddenly
        • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
        • History of heart attack
        • High risk for heart attack
        Detailed Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy

        Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

        Food
        tolcaponeRytary
        • Tasmar (tolcapone) can be taken with or without food.
        No food related info.
        Sleep
        tolcaponeRytary
        No sleep related info.
        • Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) can make you sleepy or fall asleep suddenly without warning. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) affects you. You're more at risk if you're taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease. Talk to your doctor if this bothers you.
        Upsides and benefits
        tolcaponeRytary
        • Tasmar (tolcapone) is part of the medicines used as the most common next step to control Parkinson's disease when carbidopa/levodopa doesn't work as well.
        • Tasmar (tolcapone) is available as a generic.
        • Tasmar (tolcapone) can be taken with or without food.
        • Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) comes in 4 different strengths.
        • If you have private prescription insurance, there are programs to make Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) more affordable.
        Downsides and risks
        tolcaponeRytary
        • When you first start taking Tasmar (tolcapone), your doctor might have to change the dose a lot because of all the side effects.
        • Tasmar (tolcapone) will only slow the disease down; it is not a cure for Parkinson's disease.
        • Unlike Comtan, Tasmar (tolcapone) is more likely to damage your liver, so you might need regular blood tests for the first few months.
        • Tasmar (tolcapone) is not available as a combination pill with carbidopa/levodopa, unlike Comtan.
        • Tasmar (tolcapone) can cause dry mouth and changes in blood pressure. Changes in blood pressure can make you feel faint and more likely to fall.
        • There are other forms of Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) that are generic and much cheaper.
        • Your doctor might have to change the dose of Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) often before they find a dose that works for you.
        • Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) can cause uncontrollable movements to happen, but this doesn't happen for 3 to 5 years.
        • Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) is not a cure for Parkinson's disease; it can only slow the disease down.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        tolcaponeRytary
        • Tasmar (tolcapone) can make you dizzy if you've been sitting or lying down for a while. Be very careful when getting up.
        • Don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how Tasmar (tolcapone) affects you.
        • Your urine might be colored dark orange or brown while taking Tasmar (tolcapone). This is normal.
        • You have to keep taking carbidopa/levodopa with Tasmar (tolcapone). Tasmar (tolcapone) won't work by itself to control your Parkinson's disease.
        • Talk to your doctor if you want to stop taking Tasmar (tolcapone). Stopping it suddenly can be very dangerous.
        • If you can't swallow the capsules whole, they can be sprinkled on 1 to 2 tablespoons of applesauce. You have to take it right away.
        • Don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) affects you.
        • You can't switch off other forms of carbidopa/levodopa to Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa) without talking to your doctor or pharmacist. They'll tell you how to do it safely.
        Learn more
        More about tolcaponeSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Tasmar (tolcapone)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it
        More about RytarySide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Rytary (carbidopa / levodopa)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it