Selegiline (By mouth)

Selegiline (se-LE-ji-leen)

Treats Parkinson disease. This medicine is an MAOI.

Brand Name(s):

Eldepryl, Zelapar

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to selegiline.

How to Use This Medicine:

Capsule, Tablet, Dissolving Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • Capsules or tablets: Take at breakfast and lunch.
  • Disintegrating tablet: It is best to take the tablet before breakfast. Do not eat or drink anything for 5 minutes before and after you take the tablet. Do not open the blister pack until you are ready to take your medicine. Peel back the foil to remove the tablet. Do not push the tablet through the foil. Place the tablet on your tongue and wait for it to melt.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • You must avoid many other medicines while you are using selegiline. These medicines used together could cause serious health problems, including death. Ask your doctor before you use any other medicine. You may need to wait 1 to 5 weeks before you can use the other medicine.
  • Do not use selegiline if you are also using cyclobenzaprine, dextromethorphan, meperidine, methadone, propoxyphene, St John's wort, or tramadol. Do not use this medicine if you have used another MAO inhibitor within the past 14 days.
  • Some other medicines that may interact with selegiline include carbamazepine, nafcillin, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifampin, cough and cold medicine (such as dextromethorphan, ephedrine), or medicine to treat depression or mental health problems. This is not a complete list.
  • Avoid foods and drinks that are high in tyramine, because your blood pressure could get dangerously high. Your doctor should give you a complete list. In general, do not eat anything aged or fermented, such as most cheese, most alcohol, cured meat (such as salami), sauerkraut, and soy sauce. Check the expiration dates on packages. Tyramine levels get higher as food gets older or if it has not been refrigerated properly.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney problems, liver problems, dyskinesia, high blood pressure, or a history of mental health problems. Tell your doctor if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • High or low blood pressure
    • Serotonin syndrome (when used with other medicines)
    • Dyskinesia (trouble controlling movements)
    • Unusual changes in behavior, compulsive behavior, hallucinations
    • Increased risk of skin cancer
  • This medicine may make you drowsy. It may even cause you to fall asleep without warning while you are driving or doing other activities. Do not drive or do anything that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you. Stand up slowly if you feel dizzy or lightheaded.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Anxiety, restlessness, fever, sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seeing or hearing things that are not there
  • Chest pain, fast, slow, or uneven heartbeat, severe headache
  • Confusion, unusual changes in mood or behavior, behaviors you cannot control
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
  • Muscle spasms, twitching, uncontrolled movements (especially of the face, neck, or back)
  • Unusual drowsiness or sleepiness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache
  • Mild nausea, upset stomach
  • Pain when swallowing, swelling, redness, or sores in the mouth

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 11/6/2020

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