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Selegiline (Absorbed through the skin)

Selegiline (se-LE-ji-leen)

Treats depression. This medicine is an MAOI.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to selegiline.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Your doctor will tell you how many patches to use, where to apply them, and how often to apply them. Do not use more patches or apply them more often than your doctor tells you to. Do not put the new patch on the same place you wore the last one. Take the old patch off before you put on a new one.
  • Do not put the patch over burns, cuts, or irritated skin. Do not put the patch on skin that is hairy or oily or where your clothing is tight.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after applying a patch. Wash the area of skin where you will apply the patch gently with soap and warm water. Rinse completely and dry with a clean towel.
  • Leave the patch in its sealed wrapper until you are ready to put it on. Tear the wrapper open carefully. NEVER CUT the wrapper or the patch with scissors. Do not use any patch that has been cut by accident.
  • Do not expose the patch to heat, such as an electric blanket, while you are wearing it.
  • Put on a new patch if the old one has fallen off and cannot be reapplied.
  • Missed dose: If you forget to wear or change a patch, put one on as soon as you can. If it is almost time to put on your next patch, wait until then to apply a new patch and skip the one you missed. Do not apply extra patches to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the patches at room temperature in a closed container, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Fold the used patch in half with the sticky sides together. Throw any used patch away so that children or pets cannot get to it. You will also need to throw away old patches after the expiration date has passed.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • You must avoid many other medicines while you are using selegiline. These medicines used together could cause serious health problems, including death. Ask your doctor before you use any other medicine. You may need to wait 1 to 5 weeks before you can use the other medicine.
  • Do not use selegiline if you have used another MAOI within the past 14 days. Do not use this medicine if you are also using medicine to treat depression (such as an SSRI, SSNRI, or TCA), narcotic pain medicine (such as meperidine, tramadol, or methadone), dextromethorphan, or carbamazepine. This is not a complete list.
  • Avoid foods and drinks that are high in tyramine, because your blood pressure could get dangerously high. Your doctor should give you a complete list. In general, do not eat anything aged or fermented, such as most cheese, most alcohol, cured meat (such as salami), sauerkraut, and soy sauce. Check the expiration dates on packages. Tyramine levels get higher as food gets older or if it has not been refrigerated properly.
  • Some other medicines that may interact with selegiline include buspirone and cough or cold medicine (such as pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine, phenylpropanolamine).
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine. Limit how much caffeine you eat or drink.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or a history of seizures.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Extremely high blood pressure, which could be life-threatening
    • Serotonin syndrome (when used with other medicines)
  • For some children, teenagers, and young adults, this medicine may increase mental or emotional problems. This may lead to thoughts of suicide and violence. Talk with your doctor right away if you have any thoughts or behavior changes that concern you. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has a history of bipolar disorder or suicide attempts.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before you have surgery or medical tests. Also, this medicine may interact with the dye used during some medical tests.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you. Stand or sit up slowly if you feel lightheaded.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Anxiety, restlessness, fever, sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seeing or hearing things that are not there
  • Feeling more excited or energetic than usual, trouble sleeping
  • Frequent or severe headache, fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, sweating, light sensitivity
  • Unusual behavior, thoughts of hurting yourself or others

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Itching, redness, or swelling where you wear the patch

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 11/18/2015

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