What is selegiline?
Selegiline prevents the breakdown of a chemical in your brain called dopamine (DO pa meen). Low levels of this chemical are associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Selegiline is used together with other medicines to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Selegiline may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to selegiline, or if you have used any of the following drugs within the past 14 days:
- cough or cold medicine that contains dextromethorphan;
- meperidine (Demerol), propoxyphene (Darvon, Darvocet), or tramadol (Ultram, Ultracet);
- methadone (Dolophine, Methadose); or
- other MAO inhibitors such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), or transdermal selegiline (Emsam).
After you stop taking selegiline, you must wait at least 14 days before taking any of the medications listed above.
Before using this medicine, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, high or low blood pressure, or a seizure disorder. If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take selegiline.
You may have increased sexual urges, unusual urges to gamble, or other intense urges while taking selegiline. It is not known whether the medicine actually causes this effect. Talk with your doctor if you believe you have any intense or unusual urges while taking selegiline.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether this medication is harmful to an unborn baby. Before you take selegiline, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether selegiline passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not take selegiline without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
The selegiline disintegrating tablets may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of selegiline if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
You must NOT eat foods that are high in tyramine, including:
- air dried meats, aged or fermented meats, sausage or salami (including cacciatore and mortadella), pickled herring, and any spoiled or improperly stored beef, poultry, fish, or liver;
- beer from a tap, beer that has not been pasteurized;
- aged cheeses, including blue, boursault, brick, brie, camembert, cheddar, emmenthaler, gruyere, parmesan, romano, roquefort, stilton, and swiss;
- over-the-counter supplements or cough and cold medicines that contain tyramine;
- sauerkraut, soy beans, soy sauce, tofu, miso soup, bean curd, fava beans; or
- yeast extracts (such as Marmite).
Eating tyramine while you are taking selegiline can raise your blood pressure to dangerous levels which could cause life-threatening side effects.
You should become very familiar with the list of foods to avoid while you are taking selegiline.
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking selegiline.
Selegiline can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
Overdose symptoms may include severe headache, hallucinations, vision problems, sweating, cool or clammy skin, fast or uneven heart rate, feeling light-headed, fainting, or seizure (convulsions).
Take the medication as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and wait until your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop taking selegiline and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- sudden and severe headache, confusion, blurred vision, problems with speech or balance, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, seizure (convulsions), and sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body);
- feeling light-headed, fainting;
- feeling restless, agitated, or irritable;
- twitching muscle movements; or
- painful or difficult urination.
Less serious side effects may include:
- dizziness, weakness;
- sleep problems (insomnia);
- runny or stuffy nose;
- back pain;
- constipation; or
- mouth sores or ulcers, pain with swallowing (while using Zelapar).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Before taking selegiline, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
- carbamazepine (Tegretol);
- diet pills or cold medicines that contain ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylephrine;
- nafcillin (Unipen);
- phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton);
- rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane); or
- an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil), amoxapine (Ascendin), bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban), citalopram (Celexa), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), duloxetine (Cymbalta), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), paroxetine (Paxil), protriptyline (Vivactil), sertraline (Zoloft), venlafaxine (Effexor), or trimipramine (Surmontil).
This list is not complete and there are many other medicines that can cause serious medical problems if you take them together with selegiline. Do not take selegiline before telling your doctor about all other prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor, dentist, or other healthcare provider who treats you.
Atapryl, Carbex, Eldepryl, Emsam, Jumex, Selgene, Zelapar, and selegiline
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