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Selegiline is used in the treatment of parkinson's disease (a disorder of the nervous system that causes difficulties with movement and balance)

How it works

Selegiline works by increasing the amount of dopamine,a chemical messenger that is needed to control movement in the brain.

Common side effects

Joint pain, Insomnia, Peripheral edema, Influenza like symptoms, Depression, Dyspepsia, Cough

Available Medicine

Expert advice

  • Inform the doctor if you are suffering from hypertension, chest pain, palpitation (thumping, pounding or fluttering sensation in the chest), irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), liver or kidney problems, stomach ulcers, sleep problems, glucose intolerance, and phenylketonuria (an inherited condition in which a special diet must be followed to prevent mental retardation).
  • Inform the doctor if you are being treated for any mental illness or have history of any unusual urges and/or behaviors (such as excessive gambling or excessive sexual behavior).
  • Seek advice if you are planning to undergo any surgery as selegiline may interfere with general anaesthetics.
  • Do not drink alcohol as it may worsen the side effects.
  • Do not drive or operate any machinery if selegiline affects your alertness.
  • At least 14 days should lapse between the discontinuation of selegiline and initiation of treatment with any drug known to interact with selegiline such as moclobemide, rasagiline, antidepressants, etc.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is selegiline safe?
Selegiline is safe if used at doses and for duration advised by your doctor

Q. Is selegiline a stimulant?
Selegiline can stimulate the brain to cause mood changes, anxiety, agitation, hallucinations, confusion, sleep disturbances etc

Q. Is selegiline addictive?
Selegiline is not addictive

Q. Is selegiline a dopamine agonist?
Selegiline is not a dopamine agonist. It enhances the action of dopamine (either natural dopamine or dopamine obtained from conversion of levodopa) in brain by preventing its breakdown

Q. Does selegiline need to be tapered?
Selegiline needs to be tapered and should not be suddenly stopped as it may cause fever, sweating, stiff muscles, and loss of consciousness if abruptly discontinued

Q. Is selegiline neuroprotective?
Selegiline is neuroprotective as it slows the progression of Parkinson's disease

Q. Does selegiline cause weight loss/weight gain?
Selegiline causes weight loss.

Content on this page was last updated on 24 January, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)