|Type of medicine||Dopaminergic drug (monoamine-oxidase-B inhibitor)|
|Used for||Parkinson's disease|
|Also called||Eldepryl®, Zelapar®|
|Available as||Tablets, oral liquid, and dissolve on the tongue (lyophilisate) tablets|
The cause of Parkinson's disease is still unknown but the symptoms of tremor, stiffness and slow movement are due to there being less of a chemical called dopamine in the brain. Selegiline increases the effect of dopamine in the brain and so relieves these symptoms.
When selegiline is taken in the early stages of Parkinson's disease it can help delay the need for other treatments. When taken later in Parkinson's disease, selegiline is taken alongside other medicines (such as levodopa) and it helps to prevent the problems which can occur when the effects of these other medicines are wearing off.
Before taking selegiline
Before taking selegiline make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you have liver or kidney problems.
- If you have high blood pressure, an irregular heart beat, or angina pain.
- If you have a stomach or duodenal ulcer.
- If you have mental health problems.
- If you have the rare blood disorder called porphyria.
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine.
How to take selegiline
- Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack.
- Take selegiline exactly as your doctor has told you to. When you first start taking selegiline your doctor may suggest you start on a low dose and then gradually increase the amount. This will help prevent unwanted problems such as confusion from occurring.
- Selegiline is usually taken as a single dose in the morning although your doctor may recommend you take half of your dose in the morning and the other half at midday.
- If you are taking Zelapar® these tablets are intended to dissolve in the mouth and not be swallowed. Peel back the foil packaging and carefully remove the tablet - do not push it through the foil blister. Place the tablet on your tongue and allow it to dissolve in your mouth. Take your dose in the morning before breakfast and do not drink or rinse your mouth out for at least five minutes afterwards.
- Try to take selegiline at the same time each day to avoid missing any doses.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your progress can be monitored.
- As your condition improves and your body movements become easier, be careful not to overdo physical activities. These should be increased gradually to allow your body to adjust to changing balance, circulation and co-ordination.
- Stopping treatment suddenly can cause problems and your doctor will probably want you to reduce your dose gradually if this is necessary, so do not stop taking this medicine without speaking to your doctor first.
- If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking selegiline.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take alongside this medicine.
Can selegiline cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this|
|Feeling sick||Eat little and often. Stick to simple foods|
|Constipation||Try to eat a well balanced diet containing plenty of fibre and drink 6-8 glasses of water each day|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace any lost fluids|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum or sugar-free sweets|
|Feeling dizzy or shaky, or feeling light-headed when getting up from a sitting or lying position||Getting up and moving more slowly should help. If you begin to feel dizzy, lie down so you do not faint, then sit for a few minutes before standing. If this continues, speak with your doctor|
|Difficulty sleeping, confusion, hallucinations, a spinning sensation, muscle or joint pain, and a sore mouth||If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store selegiline
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 62nd Edition (Sep 2011) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Eldepryl®,; Manufacturer's PIL, Eldepryl®, Orion Pharma (UK) Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated March 2011.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Zelapar®,; Manufacturer's PIL, Zelapar®, Zeneus Pharma Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated June 2010.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr Adrian Bonsall|
|Last Checked: 26/10/2011||Document ID: 3356 Version: 23||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.