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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Azilect

Generic Name: rasagiline (Pronunciation: ras AJ il een)

What is rasagiline (Azilect)?

Rasagiline is a monoamine oxidase-B (MAO-B) inhibitor. It works by increasing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain.

Rasagiline is used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Rasagiline is sometimes used with another drug called levodopa.

Rasagiline may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of rasagiline (Azilect)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using rasagiline and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure);
  • sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), problems with speech or balance;
  • unusual thoughts or behavior,
  • agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, fainting;
  • tremor, muscle twitching or stiffness; or
  • feeling like you might pass out.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • joint pain;
  • mild headache, depressed mood;
  • dizziness, spinning sensation;
  • hair loss;
  • mild skin rash;
  • numbness or tingly feeling;
  • dry mouth, loss of appetite;
  • constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain or upset, vomiting, weight loss;
  • impotence, loss of interest in sex, or trouble having an orgasm;
  • strange dreams; or
  • flu symptoms.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about rasagiline (Azilect)?

Certain medicines should not be taken together with rasagiline. Before you take this medication, tell your doctor about all other medications you are using, especially muscle relaxers, narcotic pain medicine, over-the-counter cough medicine, or St. John's wort.

Do not use rasagiline if you have taken another MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. Serious, life threatening side effects can occur if you use rasagiline before the other MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.

Before you take rasagiline, tell your doctor if you have liver disease.

There are many other drugs that can cause serious medical problems if you take them together with rasagiline. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.

While you are taking rasagiline and for 2 weeks after you stop taking it, you may not be able to eat certain types of cheese. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Rasagiline may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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