Generic name: Selegiline hydrochlorideBrand names: Eldepryl
Eldepryl is prescribed along with levodopa/carbidopa for people with Parkinson's disease. It is used when levodopa/carbidopa no longer seems to be working well. Eldepryl has no effect when taken by itself; it works only in combination with levodopa or levodopa/carbidopa.
Parkinson's disease, which causes muscle rigidity and difficulty with walking and talking, involves the progressive degeneration of a particular type of nerve cell. Early on, levodopa or levodopa/carbidopa alone may alleviate the symptoms of the disease. In time, however, these medications work less well; their effectiveness seems to switch on and off at random, and the individual may begin to experience side effects such as involuntary movements and "freezing" in mid-motion.
Eldepryl may be prescribed at this stage of the disease to help restore the effectiveness of levodopa or levodopa/carbidopa. When you begin to take Eldepryl, you may need a reduced dosage of the other medication.
Eldepryl belongs to a class of drugs known as MAO inhibitors. These drugs can interact with certain foods—including aged cheeses and meats, pickled herring, beer, and wine—to cause a life-threatening surge in blood pressure. At the dose recommended for Eldepryl, this interaction is not a problem. But for safety's sake, you may want to watch your diet; and you should never take more Eldepryl than the doctor prescribed.
Take Eldepryl and your other Parkinson's medication exactly as prescribed.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Eldepryl.
Do not take Eldepryl if you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to it. Do not take narcotic painkillers such as Demerol while you are taking Eldepryl.
Never take Eldepryl at a higher dosage than prescribed; doing so could put you at risk for a dangerous rise in blood pressure. If you develop a severe headache or any other unusual symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
You may suffer a severe reaction if you combine Eldepryl with tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline and imipramine, or with antidepressants that affect serotonin levels, such as fluoxetine and paroxetine. Wait at least 14 days after taking Eldepryl before beginning therapy with any of these drugs. If you have been taking antidepressants such as fluoxetine and paroxetine, you should wait at least 5 weeks before taking Eldepryl. This much time is needed to clear the antidepressant completely from your system.
If Eldepryl is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Eldepryl with the following:Antidepressant medications that raise serotonin levels, such as paroxetine, fluoxetine, and sertralineAntidepressant medications classified as tricyclics, such as amitriptyline and imipramineNarcotic painkillers such as meperidine, oxycodone, and codeine
Eldepryl may worsen side effects caused by your usual dosage of levodopa.
The effects of Eldepryl during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Although Eldepryl is not known to cause specific birth defects, it should not be taken during pregnancy unless it is clearly needed. It is not known whether Eldepryl appears in breast milk. As a general rule, a nursing mother should not take any drug unless it is clearly necessary.
The recommended dose of Eldepryl is 10 milligrams per day divided into 2 smaller doses of 5 milligrams each, taken at breakfast and lunch. There is no evidence of additional benefit from higher doses, and they increase the risk of side effects.
The use of Eldepryl in children has not been evaluated.
Although no specific information is available about Eldepryl overdosage, it is assumed, because of chemical similarities, that the symptoms would resemble those of overdose with an MAO inhibitor antidepressant.
It is important to note that after a large overdose, symptoms may not appear for up to 12 hours and may not reach their full force for 24 hours or more. An overdose can be fatal. If you suspect an Eldepryl overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Hospitalization is recommended, with continuous observation and monitoring for at least 2 days.