selegiline transdermal (generic name)
Emsam (brand name)
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What is this medicine?SELEGILINE (se LE ji leen) is an monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). It is used to treat major depression.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- bipolar disease
- dizzy or fainting spells
- frequently drink alcohol-containing beverages
- heart problems
- history of a suicide attempt
- an unusual or allergic reaction to selegiline, other medicines or patches, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?This medicine is for external use only. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Apply the patch to dry, smooth skin on the upper back, chest, or thigh or to the outer part of the upper arm. Avoid injured, irritated, calloused, or scarred areas. Do not cut or trim the patch. When you apply a new patch, use a new area of skin. Use only 1 patch each day. Remove the old patch before applying a new one. Do not use your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. This medicine is not approved for use in children. Do not use in children under 12 years of age.
What if I miss a dose?If you miss a dose, apply it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, apply only that dose. Do not apply double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
- other medicines containing selegiline, like Eldepryl
- certain medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
- herbal medicines like ginseng, green tea, guarana, SAM-e, and St. John's Wort
- local anesthetics
- MAOIs like Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
- medicines for migraine headaches
- methylene blue
- stimulants like amphetamine, dextroamphetamine or methylphenidate
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- medicines for high blood pressure
- prescription pain medicines
What should I watch for while using this medicine?Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse. Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Because it may take several weeks to see the full effects of this medicine, it is important to continue your treatment as prescribed by your doctor.
Patients and their families should watch out for new or worsening thoughts of suicide or depression. Also watch out for sudden changes in feelings such as feeling anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, overly excited and hyperactive, or not being able to sleep. If this happens, especially at the beginning of treatment or after a change in dose, call your health care professional.
If your doctor or health care professional increases the dose of this medicine to more than 9 mg a day, ask about possible interactions with foods that contain tyramine. At higher doses, this medicine may interact with these foods to produce severe headaches, a rise in blood pressure, or irregular heart beat.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.
Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, or allergies without asking your doctor or health care professional for advice. Do not take any medications for weight loss without advice either. Some ingredients in these products may increase possible side effects.
This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.
Tell your health care professional that you are taking this medicine if you are scheduled to have any surgery, procedure or medical testing. You should usually stop taking this drug at least 10 days before elective surgery.