Selegiline is used to control the symptoms of Parkinson's disease in patients who are undergoing treatment with a combination of levodopa and carbidopa. It may reduce the dose of levodopa and carbidopa needed to control the symptoms of the disease, prevent the effect of the drug from disappering between two assumptions and increase the duration of their effect.


What is Selegiline?


Selegiline is an inhibitor of monoamine oxidase (MAO). It works by causing an increase in brain levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine.


How should Selegiline be taken?


Selegiline is taken orally, usually in the form of capsules to be taken twice a day (breakfast and dinner) or tablets to dissolve in the mouth to be taken once a day, before breakfast, without food or drink.


Side effects associated with Selegiline


Among the possible adverse effects are included:


  • Dizziness
  • Feeling faint or lightheaded
  • Fainting
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach ache
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Strange dreams
  • Depression
  • Drowsiness
  • Pain, especially in back or legs
  • Weakness or muscle pain
  • Red spots on the skin
  • Rash
  • Oral irritation or redness (in case of taking buccal tablets)


You should contact a doctor immediately if taking Selegiline triggers any of the following:


  • Severe headaches
  • Chest pains
  • Rapid, irregular or heavy heart rate
  • Sweats
  • Strong and sudden nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Pain or stiffness in the neck
  • Uncontrollable tremors
  • Unusual movements that are difficult to control
  • Audio or visual hallucinations
  • Difficulty breathing


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Selegiline


Selegiline may cause dizziness and fainting when standing up quickly from a lying position, especially in the first days of treatment. To avoid this it is recommended to get up slowly from the bed, while sitting with your feet flat on the floor for several minutes before rising. In case of nausea, stomach pain or dizziness while taking Selegiline, your doctor may prescribe a reduced dosage of levodopa and carbidopa. It is important not to stop taking Selegiline suddenly because it may cause fever, sweats and muscle stiffness as well as blackouts.


Moreover, before taking Selegiline you must also inform your doctor if:


  • You have any allergy to the active substance or other drugs
  • You are taking other medications, herbal remedies and supplements, remembering to mention other medications containing Selegiline, antidepressants, carbamazepine, medicines against cough and cold symptoms, weight-loss drugs, nafcillin, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifampin, and SSRIs
  • You suffer (or have suffered) from kidney or liver disease, phenylketonuria
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding