What is rasagiline?
Rasagiline is a monoamine oxidase-B (MAO-B) inhibitor. It works by increasing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain.
Rasagiline is used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Rasagiline is sometimes used with another drug called levodopa.
Rasagiline may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Do not take rasagiline if you have liver disease or an adrenal gland tumor (also called pheochromocytoma). Do not take rasagiline within 14 days before having surgery.
Do not take rasagiline if you have taken any of the following drugs within the past 14 days:
- meperidine (Demerol);
- tramadol (Ultram);
- propoxyphene (Darvon, Darvocet);
- methadone (Methadose, Dolophine);
- over-the-counter cough, cold, or allergy medicines containing dextromethorphan, pseudoephedrine, or phenylephrine;
- St. John's wort;
- mirtazapine (Remeron);
- cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril);
- amphetamines (such as ADHD medication), stimulants, diet pills; or
- other MAO inhibitors such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), or selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam).
Some people taking rasagiline have developed skin cancer (melanoma). However, people with Parkinson’s disease may have a higher risk than most people for developing melanoma. Talk to your doctor about your specific risk and what skin symptoms to watch for.
FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether rasagiline passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
While you are taking rasagiline and for 2 weeks after you stop taking it, 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, or red wine;
- 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;
- soy beans, soy sauce, tofu, miso soup, bean curd, fava beans; or
- yeast extracts (such as Marmite).
Eating tyramine while you are taking rasagiline 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 you must avoid while you are taking rasagiline. Continue avoiding these foods for a full 14 days after you stop taking the medication.
Rasagiline 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. Symptoms of a rasagiline overdose may include drowsiness, severe headache, feeling agitated or irritable, vision problems, fast and uneven heartbeats, sweating, cold or clammy skin, shallow breathing, fainting, or seizure (convulsions).
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. 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 using rasagiline and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- increased blood pressure (sudden and severe headache, confusion, blurred vision, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, seizure);
- sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), problems with speech or balance;
- unusual thoughts or behavior, confusion, extreme agitation;
- fever, sweating, muscle stiffness;
- feeling light-headed, fainting;
- blistering skin rash;
- twitching muscle movements; or
- hallucinations (seeing things that are not there).
Continue using rasagiline and talk with your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:
- joint pain;
- mild headache, dizziness, or depressed mood;
- hair loss;
- numbness or tingly feeling;
- dry mouth, loss of appetite;
- constipation, diarrhea, upset stomach, vomiting, weight loss;
- decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; or
- flu symptoms.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Before taking rasagiline, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
- ciprofloxacin (Cipro);
- theophylline (Theo-Dur, Respbid, Uniphyl); or
- antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil), amoxapine (Ascendin), citalopram (Celexa), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), paroxetine (Paxil), or sertraline (Zoloft).
If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use rasagiline, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.
There may be other drugs not listed that can affect rasagiline. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Azilect and rasagiline
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