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Safinamide

Generic Name: safinamide (sa FIN a mide)
Brand Name: Xadago

Medically reviewed on Jul 20, 2017

What is safinamide?

See also: Gocovri

Safinamide is monoamine oxidase inhibitor type B (MAO-B). safinamide works by allowing a chemical called dopamine (DOE pa meen) to work for longer periods of time in the brain. Low levels of dopamine in the brain are associated with Parkinson's disease.

Safinamide is given with levodopa and carbidopa to treat "wearing-off" episodes (muscle stiffness, loss of muscle control) in people with Parkinson's disease.

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

Important Information

You should not use safinamide if you have severe liver disease.

TELL YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT ALL OTHER MEDICINES YOU USE. Some medicines can cause unwanted or dangerous effects (including death) when used within 14 days of when you take safinamide.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use safinamide if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • severe liver disease.

Some medicines can cause unwanted or dangerous effects (including death) when used with safinamide. You should not use any of the following medicines within 14 days before or 14 days after you take safinamide:

To make sure safinamide is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

It is not known whether safinamide will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether safinamide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How should I take safinamide?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Safinamide must be given in combination with levodopa and carbidopa and it should not be used alone.

Safinamide is usually taken once per day at the same time each day.

You may take safinamide with or without food.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.

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.

What should I avoid while taking safinamide?

While taking safinamide and for 14 days after you stop, avoid eating foods that are high in tyramine, including: pickled food (such as eggs or herring), and meats that are aged, cured, smoked, or fermented.

Eating tyramine while you are taking safinamide can raise your blood pressure to dangerous levels which could cause life-threatening side effects. You should become very familiar with the list of foods to avoid while you are taking safinamide.

Some people taking safinamide have fallen asleep during normal daytime activities such as working, driving, or other physical activity. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how this medicine will affect you.

Safinamide side effects

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

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • vision changes;

  • twitching or uncontrolled muscle movements;

  • confusion, agitation, unusual thoughts or behavior;

  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real);

  • a seizure;

  • fever, sweating, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes;

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; or

  • increased blood pressure--severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears, anxiety, nosebleed.

You may have increased sexual urges, unusual urges to gamble, or other intense urges while taking this medicine. Talk with your doctor if this occurs.

Common side effects may include:

  • involuntary muscle movements;

  • falls;

  • nausea; or

  • sleep problems (insomnia).

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.

Safinamide dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Parkinson's Disease:

Initial dose: 50 mg orally once a day
Maintenance dose: After 2 weeks, may increase dose to 100 mg orally once a day based on individual need and tolerability
Maximum dose: 100 mg per day

Comment:
-Higher doses have not been shown to provide additional benefit while they do increase the risk for adverse reactions.
-This drug has only been shown effective in combination with levodopa/carbidopa.

Use: As adjunctive treatment to levodopa/carbidopa in patients with PD experiencing "off" episodes.

What other drugs will affect safinamide?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with safinamide, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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