Selegiline Hydrochloride

Selegiline Hydrochloride is a type of medicine called a selective monoamine-oxidase-B inhibitor. This is used for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. This prescription has already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

Parkinson’s disease

This disease affects movement and is a progressive nervous system disorder. The symptoms begin slowly and sometimes it starts with a barely noticeable tremor just in one hand. Parkinson’s disease signs and symptoms can be different for everyone. Early signs and symptoms can be mild and go unnoticed. Symptoms usually start on one side of your body and generally persist on that side even after symptoms begin to affect both sides. Some early symptoms may include:

  • Tremor especially in finger, hand, or foot
  • Cramped handwriting or writing changes
  • Limb stiffness or slow movement during sleep
  • Uncontrollable movements during sleep
  • Rigid facial expression or masking
  • Voice changes
  • Stooped posture

Parkinson’s disease starts with the brain cells called neurons which control movement. Neurons create a substance called dopamine. The condition sets in when the neurons die and the levels of dopamine in the brain lessen. The lack of dopamine is thought to result in the symptoms that affect the way you move. 

Stages of Parkinson’s disease

Stage 1: The symptoms are mild and only seen on one side of the body. There is usually minimal or no functional impairment. The symptoms may be so mild that doesn’t seek medical attention. Some symptoms may include: tremor, rigidity, one hand or leg may feel clumsier, and one side of the face may be affected that it impacts the expression. 

Stage 2: This is characterized by symptoms on both sides of the body or at the midline without impairment to balance. At this stage, it may develop months or years after stage 1. The symptoms may include decreased blinking, loss of facial expression, soft voice, and speech abnormalities. However, at this stage, the person with the disease is still able to do tasks of daily living. 

Stage 3: This stage is considerably a mild-stage. Stage 3 is characterized by slowness of movement and loss of balance. Balance is compromised by the inability to make the rapid and automatic adjustments needed to prevent falling. Falls are common at this stage. In this stage, the patient is still fully independent in their daily living activities like hygiene, dressing, and eating. 

Stage 4: The patient at this stage is unable to live an independent life. They already need assistance with some activities of daily living. 

Stage 5: This is the most advanced and is characterized by an inability to rise from a chair or get out of the bed without help. They may tend to fall when standing or turning. They may freeze or stumble when walking. At this stage, assistance is needed to lessen the risk of falling and help the patient with all daily activities. 

How does Selegiline Hydrochloride work for Parkinson’s disease?

Selegiline Hydrochloride increases the levels of a substance in the brain called dopamine. Dopamine is a substance known as a neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitters are present in the brain and nervous system. They are also involved in transmitting messages between nerves. These messages allow the normal functioning of the body. The neurotransmitter dopamine is known to lessen or absent in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease. It is also thought to be the cause of disease symptoms. The mainstay of treating the condition is to replace dopamine in the brain. 

Natural dopamine released from nerve cells in the brain is normally broken down by an enzyme called monoamine-oxidase-B (MAO-B). Selegiline Hydrochloride works by blocking down this enzyme which prevents the MAO-B from breaking down the dopamine. This results in an increased amount of active dopamine in the brain and this decreases the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. 

How to use Selegiline Hydrochloride?

Selegiline Hydrochloride is taken by mouth usually twice a day with breakfast and lunch. Taking a dose of this drug late in the day may cause trouble sleeping. The dosage will depend on your medical condition and response to the drug. Take this medication as directed by your doctor for the best benefit. 

This medication is usually used in combination with a medicine called levodopa. Levodopa is converted into dopamine in the brain. It works by directly replacing the lost dopamine. Unfortunately, levodopa treatment tends to become less effective over time. It is where the effect of each dose of levodopa becomes progressively shorter. Selegiline Hydrochloride can be used to prolong the effect of levodopa. It stops the dopamine that is formed from the levodopa from being broken down in the brain. This extends the action of levodopa thereby reducing certain side effects.

After you have been taking Selegiline Hydrochloride for 2-3 days, your doctor may direct you to lower your levodopa dose. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Do not stop or change the dose of any of your medications without the consent of your doctor. It may take a few weeks for the full benefits of the drug to be noticed. 

What are the side effects of Selegiline Hydrochloride?

  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Stomach upset
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Back pain
  • Runny or stuffy nose 
  • Constipation
  • Pain with swallowing
  • Mouth sores or ulcers
  • Pain, redness, or swelling of the mouth and throat 

Inform your doctor at once if you experience:

  • Loss of balance
  • Fainting 
  • Worsening muscle stiffness or twitching
  • Unusual strong urges 
  • Increased shaking 
  • Unusual weight gain
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds 


  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages while taking this drug. 
  • This drug may affect your ability to perform some activities especially when driving or operating machinery. 
  • People with decreased liver function, history of peptic ulcers, severe angina, or unstable high blood pressure, Selegiline Hydrochloride should be used with caution. 
  • Selegiline Hydrochloride is not recommended for use in people with active peptic ulcer or hereditary blood disorders called acute porphyrias. 
  • Consult your doctor first if you are pregnant or breastfeeding women before taking Selegiline Hydrochloride. 
  • Let your doctor if you have any allergies or if you are allergic to this drug.