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Eldepryl (Generic Selegiline)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Eldepryl, also known by its generic name selegiline, is primarily prescribed for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. It belongs to a class of medications called monoamine oxidase type B (MAO-B) inhibitors. Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain. Selegiline works by increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain, thereby helping to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease, such as tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with movement.

Eldepryl is often prescribed in combination with other medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease, such as levodopa/carbidopa.

How should this medicine be used?

Eldepryl, also known as selegiline, is a medication primarily prescribed for Parkinson’s disease. It belongs to a class of drugs called monoamine oxidase type B (MAO-B) inhibitors. Here’s how Eldepryl should be used:

  • Dosage: The dosage of Eldepryl prescribed by your doctor will depend on several factors, including your age, weight, medical condition, and response to treatment. Always follow your doctor’s instructions regarding the dosage and do not exceed or change the prescribed dosage without consulting them first.
  • Administration: Eldepryl is usually taken orally, typically once or twice a day. It can be taken with or without food. However, if you experience stomach upset, taking it with food may help alleviate this side effect. Follow the schedule provided by your doctor for the best results.
  • Timing: It’s important to take Eldepryl at the same time(s) every day to maintain consistent levels of the medication in your body. This helps optimize its effectiveness in managing Parkinson’s disease symptoms.
  • Do Not Crush or Chew: Swallow the Eldepryl tablets whole with a full glass of water. Do not crush, chew, or break the tablets unless instructed otherwise by your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Avoid Certain Foods and Drugs: While taking Eldepryl, it’s crucial to avoid consuming foods and beverages that are high in tyramine, such as aged cheeses, cured meats, fermented foods, and certain alcoholic beverages. Combining Eldepryl with these foods can lead to a dangerous increase in blood pressure. Additionally, inform your doctor about all the medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking to prevent potential drug interactions.
  • Regular Monitoring: Your doctor may periodically adjust your dosage of Eldepryl based on your response to treatment and any side effects you experience. Attend all scheduled appointments with your doctor to monitor your progress and discuss any concerns you may have.
  • Consistency: To derive the most benefit from Eldepryl, it’s essential to take it regularly and consistently as prescribed by your doctor. Do not skip doses or stop taking the medication abruptly without consulting your doctor, as this can lead to a worsening of symptoms or other complications.

Always consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about how to use Eldepryl properly. They can provide personalized guidance based on your individual medical needs and circumstances.

Other uses for this medicine

While Eldepryl (selegiline) is primarily prescribed for Parkinson’s disease, it may also have other off-label uses. Some studies have suggested potential benefits of selegiline for depression, cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer’s disease, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, these uses are not FDA-approved, and the decision to prescribe Eldepryl for these conditions should be made by a healthcare professional based on individual patient factors and clinical judgment.

What special precautions should I follow?

As for special precautions when using Eldepryl, here are some important considerations:

  • Hypertensive Crisis: Eldepryl can interact with certain foods and medications to cause a potentially life-threatening increase in blood pressure known as a hypertensive crisis. To avoid this, it’s essential to follow a low-tyramine diet and avoid consuming foods and beverages high in tyramine, such as aged cheeses, cured meats, fermented foods, and certain alcoholic beverages. Additionally, inform your doctor about all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking to prevent potential drug interactions.
  • Serotonin Syndrome: Selegiline should not be used concurrently with serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, meperidine, or other medications that increase serotonin levels, as it may increase the risk of serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition characterized by symptoms such as confusion, hallucinations, rapid heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering, trembling, and muscle stiffness.
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs): Selegiline is an MAO-B inhibitor. Avoid using Eldepryl concurrently with other MAOIs or within two weeks of discontinuing treatment with another MAOI, as it may increase the risk of serotonin syndrome or hypertensive crisis.
  • Liver and Kidney Function: Before starting treatment with Eldepryl, inform your doctor if you have any liver or kidney problems. Dosage adjustments may be necessary in patients with impaired hepatic or renal function.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: The safety of Eldepryl in pregnant or breastfeeding women has not been established. Consult your doctor before using Eldepryl if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Surgery: Inform your surgeon or dentist that you are taking Eldepryl before undergoing any surgical or dental procedures, as certain anesthetic agents and medications used during surgery may interact with selegiline.
  • Allergies: If you have a known allergy to selegiline or any of the inactive ingredients in Eldepryl, inform your doctor before starting treatment.

Always follow your doctor’s instructions and guidance regarding the use of Eldepryl, and report any side effects or concerns promptly. Do not stop or change the dosage of Eldepryl without consulting your doctor first.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

  • Low-Tyramine Diet: Avoid consuming foods and beverages high in tyramine, such as aged cheeses, cured meats, fermented foods, and certain alcoholic beverages, as they can interact with Eldepryl and lead to a hypertensive crisis.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget a dose of Eldepryl, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are unsure about what to do, consult your doctor or pharmacist for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Eldepryl (selegiline) may cause side effects, although not everyone experiences them. Common side effects of Eldepryl include:

  • Nausea: Feeling sick to your stomach.
  • Dizziness: Feeling lightheaded or unsteady.
  • Insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • Dry Mouth: A lack of moisture in the mouth.
  • Headache: Aching or pain in the head.
  • Constipation: Difficulty passing stools.
  • Joint Pain: Aching or discomfort in the joints.
  • Fatigue: Feeling tired or lacking energy.
  • Flu-Like Symptoms: Such as fever, chills, and body aches.
  • Skin Rash: Itching, redness, or irritation of the skin.
  • Agitation: Feeling restless or agitated.

Serious side effects of Eldepryl are rare but can occur. These may include:

  • Hypertensive Crisis: A sudden and severe increase in blood pressure, especially when consuming foods or beverages high in tyramine.
  • Serotonin Syndrome: A potentially life-threatening condition characterized by symptoms such as confusion, hallucinations, rapid heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering, trembling, and muscle stiffness. This can occur if Eldepryl is used concurrently with certain medications that increase serotonin levels.
  • Hallucinations: Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not real.
  • Fainting: Losing consciousness or passing out.
  • Severe Headache: Intense and persistent pain in the head.
  • Chest Pain: Tightness, pressure, or discomfort in the chest.
  • Shortness of Breath: Difficulty breathing or feeling breathless.
  • Allergic Reaction: Symptoms may include rash, itching, swelling of the face, tongue, or throat, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.

If you experience any severe or concerning side effects while taking Eldepryl, contact your doctor or seek medical attention immediately. It’s essential to report any side effects to your healthcare provider, as they can adjust your treatment plan if necessary.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and disposal of Eldepryl (selegiline):


  • Store Eldepryl tablets at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
  • Keep the medication in its original container, tightly closed, and out of reach of children and pets.
  • Do not store Eldepryl in the bathroom or near the kitchen sink where it might be exposed to moisture.


  • Dispose of unused or expired Eldepryl tablets properly according to local regulations or guidelines.
  • Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so.
  • Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for proper disposal methods.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • In case of an overdose of Eldepryl, seek emergency medical attention or call your local poison control center immediately.
  • Symptoms of an overdose may include severe headache, chest pain, hallucinations, agitation, fainting, and difficulty breathing.
  • Be prepared to provide information about the amount of medication ingested, the time of ingestion, and any symptoms experienced.

What other information should I know?

  • Inform all healthcare providers involved in your care that you are taking Eldepryl, including dentists and surgeons, as it may interact with certain medications and anesthetics.
  • Attend all scheduled appointments with your doctor for monitoring of your condition and response to treatment.
  • Do not share Eldepryl with others, even if they have similar symptoms, as it may be harmful to them.
  • Keep a list of all medications you are taking, including prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal products, and provide it to your doctor or pharmacist to prevent potential drug interactions.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully regarding dosage, administration, and any dietary restrictions while taking Eldepryl.
  • Contact your doctor if you experience any new or worsening symptoms while taking Eldepryl, as they may indicate a need for adjustments to your treatment plan.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure the safe and effective use of Eldepryl while minimizing the risk of adverse effects and complications.

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