Azilect is a prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006 to treat motor symptoms in people with Parkinson’s Disease. Azilect may be prescribed as a monotherapy to people with early Parkinson’s Disease, or as an adjunctive (add-on) treatment in those who are taking Levodopa/Carbidopa and experiencing reductions in its effectiveness. Azilect is also referred to by its drug name, rasagiline.
Azilect is not suitable for use in people with a major psychotic disorder or those who have previously shown hypersensitivity to rasagiline. Azilect must be used with caution in people with high blood pressure, mental illness, or liver or kidney problems. Azilect may not be appropriate for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Azilect is a member of a class of antidepressant drugs called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). In cases of Parkinson’s Disease, Azilect is believed to work by preventing the breakdown of dopamine in the brain, thereby increasing the amount of dopamine available.
Some medications are available both as generic and branded products. Although generic and branded formulations of a drug contain the same active ingredients at the same concentrations, your body may react differently to different formulations. Check with your doctor before switching between drug brands or between generic and branded drugs.
How do I take it?
Azilect is taken orally as a tablet once a day with or without food. Take Azilect at the same time each day.
Your doctor will regularly monitor your blood pressure while you are taking Azilect.
While you are taking Azilect, limit your intake of foods that contain high amounts of tyramine. Foods such as cheese, aged meat, smoked fish, dry sausages, sauerkraut, miso, or other fermented or aged products can contribute to high blood pressure in those taking Azilect.
Do not stop using Azilect suddenly. If you decide to stop using Azilect, form a plan with your doctor for gradually tapering off your dosage to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Azilect.
A 2008 article reviewed clinical studies of Rasagiline (Azilect) for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease. The researchers concluded that Rasagiline is safe and effective at treating motor symptoms. Studies are currently underway to determine whether rasagiline may be able to help slow the progression of Parkinson’s Disease.
Azilect can raise your blood pressure.
Common side effects of Azilect include fatigue, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, dry mouth, fever, flu-like symptoms, sweating, swollen gums, red or itchy eyes, weight loss, unusual dreams, neck or back pain, unusual body movements unsteadiness, rash, or pain, numbness, or tingling in the extremities. Tell your doctor if these side effects become worse.
Inform your doctor immediately if you experience vision changes, seizures, chest pain, trouble breathing, hallucinations, difficulty thinking clearly, confusion, or difficulty or slowness in speaking while taking Azilect.
Many drugs can cause allergic reactions that in the most serious cases, can result in death. Seek immediate medical help if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction such as hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling in the face, throat, eyes, lips, or tongue.