How It Works
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
prolong the effects of
dopamine in the brain by preventing its breakdown.
They also may prevent the removal of dopamine between nerve endings and enhance
release of dopamine from nerve cells. Rasagiline and selegiline are selective
monoamine oxidase (MAO-B) inhibitors.
Why It Is Used
MAO-B inhibitors may be used in the
early stages of
Parkinson's disease to treat very mild symptoms (such
as resting tremor) and delay the need for levodopa.
In people with advanced Parkinson's disease who are
taking levodopa, rasagiline or selegiline may be added to levodopa treatment to
motor fluctuations, increase the time of effect of the levodopa, and decrease
the amount of levodopa needed to control symptoms.
How Well It Works
In the early stages of Parkinson's
disease MAO-B inhibitors may improve symptoms and can delay the need for
levodopa. But the benefits are considered modest.1
MAO-B inhibitors are helpful to many
people who have Parkinson's disease. Treatment with rasagiline or selegiline
- Decrease "off" time.
- Reduce the amount of levodopa you need to take.
- Improve motor function and the
ability to do daily activities as measured by a standard Parkinson's disease test.
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
- Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
- Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
- If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Call911or other emergency services right away if you have:
Call your doctor if you have:
- Confusion, hallucinations, or mood or mental changes.
- Uncontrollable movements, such as twitching or repetitive movements of the tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs.
Common side effects of this medicine include:
Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in
What To Think About
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Caslake R, et al. (2009). Monoamine oxidase B inhibitors versus other dopaminergic agents in early Parkinson's disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (4).
Stowe R, et al. (2010). Evaluation of the efficacy and safety of adjuvant treatment to levodopa therapy in Parkinson's disease patients with motor complications. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (7).
Primary Medical Reviewer
||Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
||G. Frederick Wooten, MD - Neurology
Current as of
||March 12, 2014