Selegiline (By mouth)


Selegiline (se-LE-ji-leen)

Treats Parkinson's disease. This medicine is used together with levodopa/carbidopa.

Brand Name(s)

Eldepryl, Zelapar

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Capsule, Tablet, Dissolving Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • You may take this medicine with breakfast or lunch. You should not use it with dinner because you may have trouble sleeping.
  • If you are using the disintegrating tablet, make sure your hands are dry before you handle the tablet. Do not open the blister pack that contains the tablet until you are ready to take it. Remove the tablet from the blister pack by peeling back the foil, then taking the tablet out. Do not push the tablet through the foil. Place the tablet on top of your tongue. It should melt quickly. Do not eat food or drink liquids 5 minutes before and after taking the tablet. It is best to take the tablet before breakfast.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using cold medicines (such as ephedrine), carbamazepine (Carbatrol®, Tegretol®), nafcillin (Nafcil®), phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin®), or rifampin (Rifadin®). Tell your doctor if you have used medicine to treat depression (such as amitriptyline, doxepin, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, nortriptyline, paroxetine, sertraline, Elavil®, Luvox®, Pamelor®, Paxil®, Prozac®, Zoloft®) within the past 14 days.
  • Certain foods and drinks can cause dangerously high blood pressure if eaten while taking high doses of selegiline (more than 10 mg a day). Some of these foods are: smoked or pickled meats, aged cheese (except cream or cottage cheese), liver, broad beans, yeast or soy sauce, avocados, bananas, figs, raisins, bologna, pepperoni, salami, summer sausage, sauerkraut, yogurt, fish, poultry (chicken, turkey, duck), beer, reduced-alcohol beer and wine, red and white wines, sherry, liqueurs, or caffeine (chocolate, coffee, tea, soda pop).
  • This severe reaction is rare and unlikely to happen if you are taking the correct dose. You should not use more of this medicine than your doctor has ordered. Ask your doctor if there are diet restrictions you should follow while taking this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney problems, liver problems, or dyskinesia (trouble controlling your muscles).
  • The disintegrating tablet form of this medicine contains phenylalanine. Tell your doctor if you have phenylketonuria (PKU) before using this form of selegiline.
  • This medicine may make you feel lightheaded when standing, so stand up slowly.
  • It is important that your doctor check your skin for melanoma (tumor) regularly if you have Parkinson's disease.
  • Some people who have used this medicine had unusual changes in their behavior. Talk with your doctor if you start having problems with gambling or increased sex drive while using this medicine.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Chest pain.
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, or muscle cramps.
  • Fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat.
  • Fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Red or black stools.
  • Seeing or hearing things which are not really there.
  • Severe headache.
  • Shortness of breath, cold sweats, and bluish-colored skin.
  • Uncontrolled movements especially of the face, neck, or back.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Back pain.
  • Changes in vision.
  • Mood or mental changes.
  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, or upset stomach.
  • Skin rash.
  • Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Trouble swallowing.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/4/2014

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