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Selegiline

Topic Contents

Selegiline

Drug Information

Selegiline is used together with levodopa and carbidopa to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease .

Common brand names:

Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar

Summary of Interactions with Vitamins, Herbs, & Foods

Types of interactions: Beneficial Adverse Check

Replenish Depleted Nutrients

  • none

Reduce Side Effects

  • none

Support Medicine

  • 5-HTP

    Both L-tryptophan and 5-HTP have been used to treat depression . One controlled study showed that taking selegiline at the same time as 5-HTP enhanced the antidepressant effect when compared with 5-HTP alone.1 Further research is needed to determine whether taking selegiline and 5-HTP together might result in unwanted side effects.

  • L-Tryptophan

    Both L-tryptophan and 5-HTP have been used to treat depression . One controlled study showed that taking selegiline at the same time as 5-HTP enhanced the antidepressant effect when compared with 5-HTP alone.2 Further research is needed to determine whether taking selegiline and 5-HTP together might result in unwanted side effects.

Reduces Effectiveness

  • none

Potential Negative Interaction

  • Ephedra

    Ephedrine is an active ingredient found in ephedra, an herb that until 2004 was used in cold remedies and herbal weight loss products. One individual taking selegiline together with ephedrine experienced a serious side effect known as hypertensive crisis, in which blood pressure can reach dangerous levels.3 Though no studies have investigated whether the herb ephedra might result in similar effects, the current evidence suggests that people taking selegiline should avoid all products that contain ephedra.

Explanation Required 

  • Low-Tyramine

    Rarely, people taking selegiline might experience a rapid rise in blood pressure and a severe throbbing headache when the drug is taken with foods that contain tyramine, such as cheese (especially aged); sour cream; yogurt; alcoholic beverages; meat, fish, and poultry; a variety of fruits and vegetables, including avocados, figs, and eggplant; fava beans; some soups; and chocolate.4 One study showed that taking 30 mg of selegiline each day greatly increases tyramine sensitivity.5 It has therefore been suggested that people taking 30 mg or more of selegiline per day should consume a tyramine-free diet.

The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

References

1. Mendlewicz J, Youdim MB. Antidepressant potentiation of 5-hydroxytryptophan by L-deprenil in affective illness. J Affect Disord 1980;2:137-46.

2. Mendlewicz J, Youdim MB. Antidepressant potentiation of 5-hydroxytryptophan by L-deprenil in affective illness. J Affect Disord 1980;2:137-46.

3. Sifton DW, ed. Physicians' Desk Reference. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company, Inc., 2000, 1025-7.

4. Sifton DW, ed. Physicians' Desk Reference. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company, Inc., 2000, 1025-7.

5. Prasad A, Glover V, Goodwin BL, et al. Enhanced pressor sensitivity to oral tyramine challenge following high dose selegiline treatment. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 1998;95:540-3.

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