IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Do not take AZILECT® (rasagiline tablets) if you are taking meperidine as it could result in a serious reaction such as coma or death. Also, do not take AZILECT with tramadol, methadone, propoxyphene, dextromethorphan, St. John’s wort, or cyclobenzaprine. You also should not take AZILECT with other monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), as it could result in an unsafe rise in blood pressure. Read More Important Safety Information
Whenever you begin a new medication, chances are you'll have questions. Here are some common questions you may have about AZILECT.
What is AZILECT?
AZILECT is an MAO-B inhibitor. It works to prevent the breakdown of dopamine in the brain. Declining levels of dopamine are what cause many of the symptoms experienced by patients with Parkinson's disease.
How will I know if AZILECT is working?
AZILECT improves many of the movement (or motor) symptoms of Parkinson's, as measured by a Parkinson's disease scale. Motor symptoms include tremor, slowness, stiffness, and trouble walking. By relieving motor symptoms, you may find many of the activities you perform every day become easier.
If you are currently taking a dopamine agonist alone, AZILECT can help provide additional symptom control. If you are currently taking levodopa and experiencing “off” time (time when your levodopa doesn't work as well), AZILECT can help. Adding AZILECT to levodopa has been shown to reduce the amount of “off” time in Parkinson's patients.
As with many medications, patients taking AZILECT will respond in different ways. In a clinical study of AZILECT used alone, maximum symptomatic improvement (vs. placebo) was first seen between 8 and 14 weeks.
Consistently taking your medication as prescribed and staying on therapy is also important, because not taking your Parkinson's medications as prescribed is associated with an increased likelihood of worsening Parkinson's symptoms.
How do I take AZILECT?
AZILECT has been shown to work for patients when taken alone for symptom relief in early-stage Parkinson's or when taken with carbidopa/levodopa and other Parkinson's medications when more relief is needed.
Here's how to take AZILECT:
Are there side effects with AZILECT treatment?
AZILECT has demonstrated tolerability. The most common side effects seen with AZILECT alone are flu syndrome, joint pain, depression, and indigestion; when taken with a dopamine agonist are swelling of the legs, fall, joint pain, cough, and inability to sleep; and when taken with levodopa are uncontrolled movements (dyskinesia), accidental injury, weight loss, low blood pressure when standing, vomiting, anorexia, joint pain, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, dry mouth, rash, abnormal dreams, fall, and swelling of tendons. Be sure to tell your doctor if you experience any of these or other side effects while taking AZILECT.
Who should not take AZILECT?
Patients with moderate to severe liver disease should not take AZILECT. Also, you should not take AZILECT if you are already taking certain medications (see next question).
Are there medications I should not take with AZILECT?
Examples of brand names are provided below. (There may be others.) Always be sure you talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any over-the-counter or prescription medicines with AZILECT.
Specifically, you should not take AZILECT with the following, as it could result in a serious reaction such as coma or death:
What about AZILECT and other medications?
Examples of brand names are provided below. (There may be others.) Again, it's best to talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medications (over-the-counter or prescription) with AZILECT.
Be especially sure to inform your doctor before starting AZILECT if you are taking, or planning to take, the following medicines, because he or she will want to use caution when prescribing AZILECT with them:
If your doctor needs to prescribe an antibiotic, make sure he or she knows you are taking AZILECT. The antibiotic ciprofloxacin (brand name Cipro®) inhibits CYP1A2, an enzyme in your body, and can cause blood levels of AZILECT to double, increasing the risk of side effects.
Your doctor may choose to prescribe Cipro and may need to lower your AZILECT dose. Alternatively, your doctor may consider prescribing an antibiotic that does not affect the CYP1A2 enzyme. Antibiotics that have not been shown to interfere with CYP1A2 include levofloxacin (Levaquin®), gatifloxacin (Tequin®), moxifloxacin (Avelox®), gemifloxacin (Factive®), azithromycin (Zithromax®), and clarithromycin (Biaxin®).
Click here to download a helpful guide to taking AZILECT with other medications.
Are there any dietary restrictions with AZILECT?
Ordinarily there are no dietary restrictions required when you take AZILECT at the recommended dose. However, certain foods (such as aged cheeses) contain very high amounts of a substance called tyramine. MAO inhibitors can potentially cause tyramine to accumulate in the body and lead to a dramatic rise in blood pressure. For this reason, you should avoid foods with very high amounts of tyramine, such as aged cheese, and always take AZILECT at the recommended dose.
If you eat foods rich in tyramine and do not feel well soon after eating, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Brands listed are the registered trademarks of their respective owners.
AZILECT® (rasagiline tablets) is indicated for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD).