Emsam FAQ

Emsam (selegiline) is an antidepressant drug, administered via a transdermal delivery system (patch) for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). It is a member of the class of drugs called MAIOs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) that are used to help regulate chemicals in the brain that produce mood disorders. Emsam is unique as it is the only transdermal on the market for MDD and solves what is called the “cheese reaction.” This is a reaction that occurs when an MAOI drug adversely reacts with tyramine, a chemical found in cheese. This reaction caused some users of selegiline to encounter hypertensive crisis and even strokes. Prior to understanding this reaction, the FDA pulled the drug from the market until precautions were established which mainly consisted of dietary restriction. With Emsam, the only MAOI available in the US for the treatment of MDD, dietary restriction is no longer needed.

Because Emsam is a transdermal, it is highly unlikely that it can be misused, though it is still a possibility. Placement of additional full patches, or portions of a cut up patch, can be done, but the medication will not be more effective. Cutting the patches can lead to an interference in the method by which it was designed to deliver the drug.

Side effects of Emsam can include some serious conditions. These can include worsening depression, anxiety, agitation, restlessness, panic attacks, impulsivity, mania, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, and aggression.

Care needs to be taken when using Emsam and if attempting to stop its use. Side effects along with emotions felt prior to use can manifest and lead a user to continue its use when no longer needed to avoid feeling unstable.

To learn more about Emsam, you can check out the FAQ section, or contact The Recovery Village at any time to get the answers you need.