Depression - Emsam
(Selegiline) is the first ever Drug Patch treatment that is approved by
FDA – Has no dietary restrictions in MAOI Drug Class
March 3rd, 2006
Example of a
is the first skin patch that can be prescribed for treatment of major
depression. The patch lasts for one day and delivers 6-12
milligrams (depending on the prescription) of the selegiline medicine through the patient’s skin. Selegiline
is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor or MAOI requires no change in the
person’s diet if they are using the smaller 6 mg patch. If they are
using the larger 12 mg patch they may have to restrict their diet the
same as any Oral MAOI.
"Emsam provides a
significant advance because at least in its lowest dose patients can use
the drug without the usual dietary restrictions associated with these
types of drugs known as MAO inhibitors,“ said Dr. Steven Galson,
Director for the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
Squibb will be distributing Emsam which was developed by Somerset
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Selegiline in pill form was originally approved
for treatment for patients with Parkinson’s disease.
With the oral MAO
inhibitors a patient is not able to eat certain food because it could
cause a sudden increase in blood pressure called a “hypertensive
crisis”. This crisis can be life threatening and cause stroke or
death. If a person has a hypertensive crisis they need to seek medical
care right away.
The patch at the
lower dosage does not have any dietary restrictions. There are dietary
restrictions for the 12 mg dose however. There is concern that the
patch should not get excessive heat because the medication could go
through the body faster than intended.
The possible side
effect from using the Emsam patch is the area where the patch was could
become red and irritated. The irritation may be mild and itchy. If
this is the case, the patient should contact their doctor. Possible
light headedness can occur with a drop of blood pressure. So make sure
that you are sitting down when you first take the medication to avoid
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