Precautions and Warnings With Selegiline
To avoid potential complications, talk to your healthcare provider about the precautions and warnings with selegiline before starting treatment with the medication. For example, tell your healthcare provider if you have certain health conditions, such as liver or kidney disease. Selegiline can also cause serious and even life-threatening problems when it is used with certain other medications, so make sure your healthcare provider is aware of any other medications you are taking.
Selegiline: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking selegiline hydrochloride (Eldepryl®) if you have:
- Liver disease, such as liver failure, hepatitis, or cirrhosis
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Precautions and Warnings With SelegilineSome of the warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking selegiline include the following:
- Selegiline can cause hypertensive crisis, which is a life-threatening increase in blood pressure. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have symptoms of a hypertensive crisis, such as:
- Feelings of a rapidly or forcefully beating heart (palpitations)
- A sore or stiff neck
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sweating, with a high fever (or sometimes with cold, clammy skin)
- Sensitivity to light
- A rapid heart rate (tachycardia) or low heart rate (bradycardia)
- Chest pain or throat tightness
- Dilated (wide open) pupils.
- Selegiline has several potentially lethal drug interactions. In order to take selegiline safely, you must commit to avoiding many medications, including several non-prescription medications. Always check with your healthcare provider before taking any medications with selegiline (see Drug Interactions With Selegiline for more information).
- Selegiline should not be taken at doses higher than 10 mg per day. Although no special diet is required for normal selegiline doses, higher doses of selegiline can interact dangerously with many foods.
- Taking selegiline with levodopa medications (such as Sinemet®, Sinemet® CR, Parcopa®, or Stalevo®) can increase the risk of involuntary muscle movements called dyskinesia. Although not typically dangerous, dyskinesia is usually quite disturbing and intolerable. If you develop a severe dyskinesia while taking selegiline and levodopa, your healthcare provider may need to decrease your levodopa dosage.
- The liver and kidneys help to remove selegiline from the body. Selegiline has not been adequately studied in people with liver or kidney disease.
- Selegiline can cause low blood pressure (hypotension). Let your healthcare provider know if you develop signs of low blood pressure, such as dizziness, fainting, or lightheadedness.
- Selegiline tablets contain phenylalanine, an amino acid. This is important for people with phenylketonuria, who must limit their intake of phenylalanine.
- Selegiline tablets can cause mouth irritation and sores.
- Selegiline can cause hallucinations (seeing, feeling, tasting, smelling, or hearing things that aren't really there). Let your healthcare provider know if you think you may be hallucinating.
- Studies have suggested that people who take Parkinson's medications (including selegiline) may have a higher risk of malignant melanoma (a type of skin cancer). However, it is not clear if this truly is a problem, as this may simply reflect the fact that people with Parkinson's have a higher risk of melanoma than normal.
- Selegiline is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Eldepryl and Pregnancy).
- It is not known if selegiline passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Eldepryl and Breastfeeding).