Selegiline is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's disease is a disorder that affects movement of a person, causing symptoms such as tremors, muscle stiffness, slowed movement and impaired balance or walking. It is used to improve the medicinal effect of other Parkinson's disease medicines such as levodopa.
Selegiline does not cure Parkinson's disease but it can improve the quality of life for people who have the disease.
Selegiline may also be used to treat other medical conditions, as decided by your doctor.
Take Selegiline exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Take Selegiline with breakfast or lunch. Avoid taking it in the evening as it may interfere with your sleep. Try to take Selegiline at the same time each day.
Selegiline is available as a normal tablet and as an orally disintegrating tablet.
If you are taking the orally disintegrating tablet, place the tablet on your tongue at least 5 minutes before breakfast and allow it to dissolve. Do not swallow the tablet. Do not eat or drink anything 5 minutes before or after taking the tablet.
Selegiline must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking Selegiline even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed otherwise, as stopping it suddenly could worsen your condition.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor or pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- stomach ulcer
- phenylketonuria (a genetic disorder where your body is not able to break down the amino acid phenylalanine). The orally disintegrating tablet contains aspartame which is a source of phenylalanine.
Selegiline may not be suitable for you.
Do not take Selegiline with strong painkillers, medicines to treat migraine, depression and cold or stuffy nose. Please see the section “Can I take this with other medicines?” below for more information.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- high blood pressure
- heart disease
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- history of mental illness
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Selegiline may cause dizziness and tiredness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Selegiline may cause your blood pressure to fall suddenly when you get up from a sitting or lying down position and you may feel giddy. To minimise this problem, stand up slowly.
Other side effects include any of the following: nausea, stomach pain, dry mouth, constipation, headache, difficulty sleeping and joint or back pain. These side effects are common especially when you have just started taking Selegiline.
If you are taking the orally disintegrating tablet, you may have mouth ulcers.
Let your doctor know if you experience:
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- confusion and hallucinations (seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not existent)
- unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed, agitated, or having compulsive and impulsive behaviour)
- uncontrollable movements such as twitching or jerking
- severe headache, neck stiffness or soreness
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not take Selegiline with the following medicines:
- medicines for depression e.g. fluoxetine, paroxetine, venlafaxine, tranylcypromine
- medicines to treat migraine e.g. sumatriptan, naratriptan
- strong painkillers e.g. meperidine
- medicines for cold or stuffy nose e.g. ephedrine, pseudoephedrine
Do not take Selegiline within 5 weeks of stopping fluoxetine (a medicine for depression) or take any other medicines for depression within 2 weeks of stopping Selegiline.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- cough medicines e.g. dextromethorphan
- birth control pills
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Selegiline.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid alcohol and beverages that contain tyramine such as red wine and beer.
Avoid foods that are high in tyramine, such as cheese, sausages, soya beans, fava beans, broad beans and certain pickles such as sauerkraut. Ask your doctor about the types of food you should avoid.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.