MONOAMINE OXIDASE INHIBITOR (MAOI)
Selegiline is a prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1989 to treat motor symptoms in people with Parkinson’s Disease. Selegiline 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. Selegiline is also referred to by its brand names, Eldepryl and Zelapar.
Selegiline is not suitable for use in people who have previously shown hypersensitivity to the drug or its inactive ingredients. Selegiline must be used with caution in people with phenylketonuria or liver or kidney disease. Selegiline may not be appropriate for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Selegiline is a member of a class of antidepressant drugs called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). In cases of Parkinson’s Disease, Selegiline 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?
Selegiline is taken orally, either as a capsule or a disintegrating tablet. As a capsule, Selegiline is taken twice a day with meals. As a disintegrating tablet, Selegiline is taken once daily on an empty stomach, before breakfast. Do not eat or drink five minutes before or after taking Selegiline as a disintegrating tablet.
Do not stop using Selegiline suddenly. If you decide to stop using Selegiline, 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 Selegiline.
Multiple clinical studies have established that Selegiline is effective at treating motor symptoms and reducing disability in those with Parkinson’s Disease. Taking Selegiline can help delay the need for treatment with Levodopa/Carbidopa[LINK] and reduce the dose and frequency of the latter medication.
Common side effects of Selegiline include drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, gas, diarrhea, constipation, trouble sleeping, unusual dreams, back or leg pain, or rash. If you are taking Selegiline disintegrating tablets, you may develop mouth sores. Tell your doctor if these side effects become worse.
Inform your doctor immediately if you experience chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeat, trouble breathing, hallucinations, stiff or painful neck, unusual shaking or body movements, severe headache, or sudden, severe nausea or vomiting while taking Selegiline.
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.