Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on May 5, 2023.
EMSAM should be applied to dry, intact skin on the upper torso (below the neck and above the waist), upper thigh or the outer surface of the upper arm once every 24 hours. The recommended starting dose and target dose for EMSAM is 6 mg per 24 hours. EMSAM has been systematically evaluated and shown to be effective in a dose range of 6 mg per 24 hours to 12 mg per 24 hours. However, the trials were not designed to assess if higher doses are more effective than the lowest effective dose of 6 mg per 24 hours. Based on clinical judgment, if dose increases are indicated for individual patients, they should occur in dose increments of 3 mg per 24 hours (up to a maximum dose of 12 mg per 24 hours) at intervals of no less than 2 weeks. Full antidepressant effect may be delayed.
Patients should be informed that tyramine-rich foods and beverages should be avoided beginning on the first day of EMSAM 9 mg per 24 hours or 12 mg per 24 hours treatment and should continue to be avoided for 2 weeks after a dose reduction to EMSAM 6 mg per 24 hours or following the discontinuation of EMSAM 9 mg per 24 hours or 12 mg per 24 hours [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].
It is generally agreed that episodes of depression require several months or longer of sustained pharmacologic therapy. Maintenance of efficacy in depressed patients on therapy with EMSAM at a dose of 6 mg per 24 hours after achieving a responder status for an average duration of about 25 days was demonstrated in a controlled trial [see Clinical Studies (14)].
The physician who elects to use EMSAM for extended periods should periodically re-evaluate the long-term usefulness of the drug for the individual patient.
Dietary Modifications Required for Patients Taking EMSAM 9 mg per 24 hours and 12 mg per 24 hours
EMSAM (selegiline transdermal system) contains a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). MAOIs including EMSAM combined with a high tyramine diet may cause a hypertensive crisis. A hypertensive crisis can be a life-threatening condition [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].
The foods and beverages listed in Table 5 should be avoided beginning on the first day of EMSAM 9 mg per 24 hours or 12 mg per 24 hours treatment, and should continue to be avoided for 2 weeks after a dose reduction to EMSAM 6 mg per 24 hours or following the discontinuation of EMSAM 9 mg per 24 hours or 12 mg per 24 hours [see Drug Interactions (7.2)].
Screen for Bipolar Disorder Prior to Starting EMSAM
Prior to initiating treatment with EMSAM or another antidepressant, screen patients for a personal or family history of bipolar disorder, mania, or hypomania [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].
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