Selegiline - oral
Selegiline - oral
This medication is used to treat movement disorders caused by Parkinson's disease. It does not cure Parkinson's disease, but it may improve shakiness (tremor), muscle stiffness, loss of normal movement as your dose of other Parkinson's medication wears off (end-of-dose failure), and sudden switching between normal movement and stiffness ("on-off" problems). It may improve your range of motion and ability to walk, dress, and exercise. Selegiline is usually used in combination with other medicines (e.g., levodopa, carbidopa).
Selegiline is an enzyme blocker (MAO inhibitor) that works by slowing the breakdown of certain natural substances in the brain (neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin).
Take this medication by mouth, usually twice daily with breakfast and lunch. Taking selegiline late in the day may cause trouble sleeping. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Do not increase your dose or take it more often than directed.
After you have been taking selegiline for 2 or 3 days, your doctor may direct you to lower your levodopa dose. Follow your doctor's instructions closely. Do not stop or change the dose of any of your medications without first talking with your doctor.
It may take a few weeks for the full benefits of the drug to be noticed. Do not stop taking this drug without first consulting your doctor. Talk with your doctor if the medication stops working well or if your condition worsens.
Dizziness, abdominal pain, dry mouth, nausea, stomach upset, trouble sleeping, and headache may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If you are also taking levodopa, you may experience more side effects from the levodopa when taking selegiline. Tell your doctor right away if any of these side effects occur: nausea, shakiness, muscle stiffness, mental/mood changes such as hallucinations/abnormal dreams. Your doctor may need to change your medication or dose. Do not stop or change the dose of your levodopa without talking with your doctor first.
Some people taking selegiline have fallen asleep suddenly during their usual daily activities (such as talking on the phone, driving). In some cases, sleep occurred without any feelings of drowsiness beforehand. This sleep effect may occur anytime during treatment with selegiline even if you have used this medication for a long time. If you experience increased sleepiness or fall asleep during the day, do not drive or take part in other possibly dangerous activities until you have discussed this effect with your doctor. Your risk of this sleep effect is increased by using alcohol or other medications that can make you drowsy. See also Precautions section.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
This drug may rarely cause an attack of extremely high blood pressure (hypertensive crisis), which may be fatal. Many drug and food interactions can increase this risk. (See also Drug Interactions section.) Get medical help right away if any of these serious side effects occur:
This medication may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take. Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms:
In the US -
Before taking selegiline, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis). See also Side Effects section.
To minimize dizziness and the risk of fainting, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist you are taking this medication. You may need to stop taking this drug beforehand. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Selegiline should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Some products that may interact with selegiline include:
The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin. Examples include street drugs such as MDMA/"ecstasy," St. John's wort, dextromethorphan, certain antidepressants (including SSRIs such as fluoxetine/paroxetine, SNRIs such as duloxetine/venlafaxine, TCAs such as amitriptyline/doxepin), certain narcotic medications (such as meperidine, methadone, pentazocine, propoxyphene, tramadol, tapentadol), among others. The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity may be more likely when you start or increase the dose of these drugs.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are using any of these medications before, during, or within 2 weeks after treatment with selegiline. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have taken fluoxetine during at least 5 weeks before starting selegiline. Discuss with your doctor how much time to wait between starting or stopping any of these drugs and taking selegiline.
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy, cough-and-cold products, diet pills) because they may contain dextromethorphan, decongestants, or stimulants. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products.
To prevent a very serious high blood pressure reaction, it is very important that you follow a special diet recommended by your doctor or dietician in order to limit your intake of tyramine while you are taking this medicine. Avoid foods and beverages that are high in tyramine, including: aged cheeses (e.g., bleu, cheddar, parmesan), dried/aged/fermented meats and sausages (e.g., salami, liverwurst), preserved fish (e.g., pickled herring), products containing large amounts of yeast (e.g., concentrated yeast extract, bouillon cubes, powdered soup/gravy, homemade or sourdough bread), fermented foods (e.g., sauerkraut, kim chee), most soybean products (e.g., soy sauce, tofu), broad/fava beans, red wine, sherry, tap beers, vermouth. Limit or avoid foods that are moderate in tyramine, including: avocados, bananas, eggplant, green beans, raisins, raspberries, red plums, spinach, tomatoes, chocolate, cultured dairy products (e.g., buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream), fish eggs, pate, peanuts, coffee, cola, alcohol-free beer, bottled beer, distilled spirits, port, white wine. Consult your doctor or dietician for more details and a complete list of other tyramine-containing foods you should limit or avoid. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice symptoms of very high blood pressure such as unusually fast/slow heartbeat, vomiting, unexplained sweating, headache, chest pain, sudden vision changes, weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech.
This medication may interfere with certain medical/laboratory tests (including brain scan for Parkinson's disease), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may be not appear for up to 12 hours and may include excitement, irritability, restlessness, dizziness, weakness, drowsiness, flushing, sweating, fast heartbeat, headache, confusion, and seizures.
Do not share this medication with others.
People with Parkinson's disease may have an increased risk for developing skin cancer (melanoma). Tell your doctor promptly if you notice a change in the appearance or size of moles or other unusual skin changes. Ask your doctor if you should have regular skin exams.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised October 2018.
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