Mixing Alcohol and Emsam (Selegiline) | Side Effects, Interactions, and Blackouts

Prior to beginning a medicated treatment program, it’s important to talk with your doctor about anything you might be ingesting or doing that could interact with your prescription. Keeping your doctor informed of your alcohol intake is especially important, as alcohol typically has adverse effects when mixed with prescription medications.

Emsam could lead to dangerous side effects when mixed with alcohol. When taking selegiline, there are specific dietary restrictions regarding foods or beverages, such as alcohol, that contain levels of tyramine. Mixing the two could lead to a dangerous rise in blood pressure. This is why your doctor needs to know about your typical alcohol consumption before you start on an Emsam treatment program.

What is Emsam (Selegiline)?

Emsam, the brand name for the prescription selegiline, is a transdermal (skin) patch used to treat depression. It’s the only antidepressant that delivers its medicating effectiveness through a patch. The patch is meant to be replaced on the skin at the same time each day to achieve maximum results.

Selegiline may also be taken in pill form to treat people with Parkinson’s Disease.

Selegiline is listed as a MAOI, which means it alters the neurochemicals in the brain and changes the way they communicate with one another, thereby alleviating depressive thoughts. Selegiline should be taken in gradual doses over time to lessen the likelihood of side effects. Also, patients taking this prescription must follow their doctor’s recommendations for diet restrictions, because foods and beverages with tyramine can cause serious adverse reactions.

Possible side effects of Emsam may include:

  1. dizziness
  2. drowsiness
  3. redness/irritation at the application site
  4. tiredness
  5. weakness
  6. problems sleeping
  7. constipation
  8. dry mouth

Keep your doctor informed regarding any side effects which you may feel right away. More serious side effects can occur and need immediate attention including fainting, mood changes, muscle stiffness, changes in sexual ability or interest, shaking, shivering, swollen ankles and legs, weight gain/loss, eye pain or vision changes, severe abdominal pain, vomiting, seizures, dark urine or signs of jaundice.

Mixing Alcohol and Emsam (Selegiline)

In addition to the potential for your blood pressure to reach dangerous levels from mixing alcohol and selegiline, you should be aware of other side effects. These include headaches, palpitations, neck stiffness or soreness, nausea, sweating, dilated pupils and photophobia.

Patients taking Emsam should avoid alcohol and any other foods or beverages with levels of tyramine, as well as have their blood pressure monitored on a regular basis. Since mixing alcohol with Emsam is dangerous, it’s important to be honest with your doctor regarding your typical alcohol intake, no matter how small, as this may have a big impact on your well-being.

Summing Up Side Effects, Interactions, and Blackouts of Mixing Alcohol and Emsam (Selegiline)

Not only can alcohol and Emsam have dangerous side effects like hypertension, but alcohol itself is important to avoid when on any type of antidepressant. Alcohol is a depressant itself and affects the way your brain works. If you’re already struggling with depression, you want to give your prescription antidepressant the best possible chance of helping you. That won’t happen if you add alcohol to the mix.

If you feel you or a loved one is misusing Emsam or has an issue with alcohol, please seek immediate help. Go online to www.TheRecoveryVillage.com or call 24/7 to our toll-free hotline at 855-548-9825 to learn more about the road to recovery. We can help you overcome your addiction today.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.