Emsam is a transdermal skin patch containing selegiline. Selegiline prevents the breakdown of chemicals in the brain that are often imbalanced in people with depression.Emsam is used to treat major depressive disorder in adults. Emsam may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use Emsam if you have an adrenal gland tumor or if you are using certain other medicines. Serious drug interactions can occur when certain medicines are used together with selegiline. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use now, and any medicine you start or stop using.
Emsam should never be used on a child younger than 12 years old because dangerous side effects could occur.
Before using this medicine
You should not use Emsam if you are allergic to selegiline, or if you have pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland).
Some medicines can cause unwanted or dangerous effects when used with Emsam. Your doctor may need to change your treatment plan if you have used any of the following drugs within the past 14 days:
- carbamazepine (Equetro, Tegretol)
- dextromethorphan (cough medicine)
- meperidine, methadone, pentazocine, or tramadol
- any type of “SSRI” or “SNRI” antidepressant, such as citalopram (Celexa), clomipramine, duloxetine (Cymbalta), fluoxetine (Prozac), imipramine, paroxetine, sertraline (Zoloft), venlafaxine, and others
After you stop using Emsam, you must wait at least 14 days before taking any medicine listed above. You must wait at least 5 weeks after stopping fluoxetine (Prozac) before you can start using Emsam.
To make sure Emsam is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have
- heart disease, high or low blood pressure
- seizures or epilepsy
- a personal or family history of bipolar disorder (manic depression) or suicide attempt.
Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. However, you may have a relapse of depression if you stop using your antidepressant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnancy. Do not start or stop Emsam during pregnancy without your doctor’s advice.
It is not known whether selegiline passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
Emsam is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old. This medicine should never be used on a child younger than 12 years old because dangerous side effects could occur.
How should I use Emsam?
Use Emsam patches exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Apply the Emsam patch to clean, dry, and hairless skin on your chest, back, thigh, or the outer part of your upper arm. Press the patch firmly into place. You may leave the patch on while bathing, showering, or swimming. Remove the skin patch after 24 hours and replace it with a new one. Choose a different place on your body to wear the patch each time you put on a new one.
Wash your hands with soap and water after applying an Emsam patch, and after removing one.
If a patch falls off, try sticking it back into place. If it does not stick well, put on a new patch and leave it on only for the rest of your wearing time. Do not change your patch removal schedule.
Do not wear more than one Emsam patch at a time. Using extra skin patches will not make the medication more effective. Never cut a skin patch. While you are wearing the patch, do not expose it to sunlight or other sources of heat such as a heating pad, electric blanket, hot tub, or sauna.
If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using Emsam. You may need to stop using the medicine for at least 10 days before a planned surgery. Do not stop using Emsam without first talking to your doctor.
Store the skin patches at room temperature away from heat and moisture. Keep each patch in the foil pouch until you are ready to apply one.
Keep both used and unused Emsam skin patches out of the reach of children or pets. The amount of selegiline in a used skin patch could be fatal to a child or pet who accidentally chews on the patch. Seek emergency medical attention if this happens.
Major Side Effects
You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking selegiline:
Twitching, twisting, uncontrolled repetitive movements of the tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs
- Blurred vision
- chest pain
- decreased urine
- difficult or labored breathing
- difficulty with swallowing
- dry mouth
- feeling sad or empty
- increased thirst
- irregular heartbeat
- large, flat, blue or purplish patches in the skin
- loss of appetite
- loss of interest or pleasure
- mood changes
- muscle pain or cramps
- nausea or vomiting
- numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
- pounding in the ears
- seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
- shakiness and unsteady walk
- shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
- slow or fast heartbeat
- swelling or inflammation of the mouth
- tightness in the chest
- trouble concentrating
- trouble sleeping
- unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- Incidence not known:
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- overactive reflexes
- poor coordination
- talking or acting with excitement you cannot control
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