rasagiline

Generic Name: rasagiline (ras AJ il een)
Brand Name: Azilect

What is rasagiline?

Rasagiline is a monoamine oxidase-B (MAO-B) inhibitor. It works by increasing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain.

Rasagiline is used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Rasagiline is sometimes used with another drug called levodopa.

Rasagiline may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about rasagiline?

Certain medicines should not be taken together with rasagiline. Before you take this medication, tell your doctor about all other medications you are using, especially muscle relaxers, narcotic pain medicine, over-the-counter cough medicine, or St. John's wort.

Do not use rasagiline if you have taken another MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. Serious, life threatening side effects can occur if you use rasagiline before the other MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.

Slideshow: View Frightful (But Dead Serious) Drug Side Effects

Before you take rasagiline, tell your doctor if you have liver disease.

There are many other drugs that can cause serious medical problems if you take them together with rasagiline. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.

While you are taking rasagiline and for 2 weeks after you stop taking it, you may not be able to eat certain types of cheese. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Rasagiline may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking rasagiline?

You should not take rasagiline if you are allergic to it.

Do not take rasagiline if you have taken any of the following drugs within the past 14 days:

  • meperidine (Demerol);

  • tramadol (Ultram);

  • propoxyphene (Darvon, Darvocet);

  • methadone (Methadose, Dolophine);

  • St. John's wort;

  • cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril, Amrix, Fexmid); or

  • dextromethorphan (contained in many over-the-counter cough medicines).

Do not use rasagiline if you have taken another MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. Serious, life threatening side effects can occur if you use rasagiline before the other MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.

If you have liver disease, you may need a rasagiline dose adjustment or special tests.

Some people taking Parkinson's disease medications have developed skin cancer (melanoma). However, people with Parkinson's disease may have a higher risk of melanoma. Talk to your doctor about this risk and what skin symptoms to watch for. You may need to have regular skin exams.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether rasagiline will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication..

It is not known whether rasagiline passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Rasagiline may slow breast milk production. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take rasagiline?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Rasagiline is usually taken once daily. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

If you also take levodopa, your dose may be changed when you start taking rasagiline.

While you are taking rasagiline and for 2 weeks after you stop taking it, you may not be able to eat certain types of cheese. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Use rasagiline regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Rasagiline is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes a diet plan created for you by your doctor or nutrition counselor.

Do not stop using rasagiline suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using rasagiline.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include drowsiness, dizziness, severe headache, feeling irritable, vision problems, fast and uneven heart rate, sweating, cold or clammy skin, shallow breathing, fainting, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking rasagiline?

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

Rasagiline may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Avoid eating any cheese that your doctor has instructed you not to eat while taking rasagiline.

Rasagiline side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using rasagiline and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure);

  • sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), problems with speech or balance;

  • unusual thoughts or behavior,

  • agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, fainting;

  • tremor, muscle twitching or stiffness; or

  • feeling like you might pass out.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • joint pain;

  • mild headache, depressed mood;

  • dizziness, spinning sensation;

  • hair loss;

  • mild skin rash;

  • numbness or tingly feeling;

  • dry mouth, loss of appetite;

  • constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain or upset, vomiting, weight loss;

  • impotence, loss of interest in sex, or trouble having an orgasm;

  • strange dreams; or

  • flu symptoms.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Rasagiline dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Parkinson's Disease:

Monotherapy: 1 mg orally once daily

Adjunctive therapy (in combination with levodopa): 0.5 mg orally once daily. If a sufficient clinical response is not achieved, the dose may be increased to 1 mg orally daily.

What other drugs will affect rasagiline?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you have used within the past 14 days, especially:

  • ciprofloxacin (Cipro);

  • over-the-counter cough, cold, or allergy medicines; or

  • an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Vanatrip), citalopram (Celexa), doxepin (Sinequan), desipramine (Norpramin), duloxetine (Cymbalta), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Symbyax), fluvoxamine (Luvox), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), venlafaxine (Effextor), and others.

This list is not complete and there are many other drugs that can cause serious medical problems if you take them together with rasagiline. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has more information about rasagiline.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.02. Revision Date: 2010-12-15, 5:01:39 PM.

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