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What is Azilect (Rasagiline) prescribed for?

Parkinson’s disease affects the nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine. And dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter, which your body creates. Your nervous system uses it to send messages between nerve cells. Too much or too little of it can lead to a vast range of health issues, which includes Parkinson’s disease.

Many of Parkinson’s disease symptoms include rigidity, tremors, and changes in speech and gait. The effective ingredient in Azilect, known as Rasagiline, is used as a treatment to help treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.  It can help improve shakiness, stiffness, and overall difficulties in movement.  It can also help reduce the amount of slow periods of movement and stiffness.

Azilect works by increasing the levels of a certain natural substance in the brain, such as dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin.  Parkinson’s disease is thought to be caused by to little dopamine within the brain.

Take this medication orally, with or without food. Usually it is taken once a day, unless directed otherwise by your doctor. Those dosage you have been given is based on your medical condition and your response to the treatment. Do not increase our dose or prolong it’s use more then what is prescribed. Doing so will increase your risk of receiving side effects.

Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor beforehand. Various conditions may worsen when the medication is suddenly put to a stop. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.

A very serious high blood pressure reaction may rarely occur if you eat a large amount of tyramine (foods such as aged cheese have a high amount of tyramine in them) while taking this medication and for 2 weeks after you have stopped. Consult your doctor directly about which foods are best for your diet while on this medication.


Before taking rasagiline, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart disease (such as coronary artery disease, heart attack, chest pain, heart failure), stroke, high blood pressure, severe/frequent headaches, liver disease, mental/mood disorders (such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression), diabetes, overactive thyroid, a certain kind of adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma), sleep disorders.

Side Effects

Dizziness, drowsiness, joint pain, heartburn, nausea, dry mouth, weight loss, or stomach/abdominal pain may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fainting, loss of balance, mental/mood changes (such as confusion, depression, hallucinations), worsening muscle stiffness/twitching/uncontrollable movements, swollen ankles/legs, easy bleeding/bruising, unusual strong urges (such as increased gambling, increased sexual urges).

Some people taking rasagiline have fallen asleep suddenly during their usual daily activities (such as talking on the phone, driving). In some cases, sleep occurred without any feelings of drowsiness beforehand. This sleep effect may occur anytime during treatment with rasagiline even if you have used this medication for a long time. If you experience increased sleepiness or fall asleep during the day, do not drive or take part in other possibly dangerous activities until you have discussed this effect with your doctor. Your risk of this sleep effect is increased by using alcohol or other medications that can make you drowsy. See also Precautions section.

This medication may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take. Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms: fast heartbeat, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, unusual agitation/restlessness.

This drug may rarely cause an attack of extremely high blood pressure (hypertensive crisis), which may be fatal. Many drug and food interactions can increase this risk (see How to Use and Drug Interactions sections). Get medical help right away if any of these serious side effects occur: severe headache, fast/slow/irregular/pounding heartbeat, chest pain, neck stiffness/soreness, severe nausea/vomiting, sweating/clammy skin (sometimes with fever), widened pupils, vision changes (such as double/blurred vision), sudden sensitivity to light (photophobia).

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.


What is Azilect used for?

Azilect is used for Parkinson’s disease; a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Parkinson’s disease as a very gradual onset, with initial symptoms of the disease being barely noticeable, usually starting as a mild tremor in one hand; initial symptoms can be so minimal that many patients do not recognize them as symptoms. Eventually, symptoms will become noticeable with stiffness, tremors, and trembling becoming more intense with some changes in facial expressions. The disease continues to progress until the patient can longer walk or move on their own; a wheelchair is often required with around-clock assistance. In some cases, confusion, hallucinations, and delusions can occur.


What does Azilect do for Parkinson’s?

Now that you understand what Parkinson’s disease is, you can better understand what Azilect can do for those living with the disease. Using Azilect for Parkinson’s can help alleviate the symptoms; Azilect can help reduce the amount of stiffness throughout the body and muscles, the amount of tremors and shakiness that occurs, and can help improve your movement ability. Additionally, if treatment is started in the early stages of the disease, some studies suggest that not only will Azilect help with symptoms, but it may actually help slow the progression of the disease all together.


How does Azilect work?

Though the exact cause of this disease is unknown, it is thought to be caused by having low levels of important natural substances in the brain. These substances may include dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, also known as neurotransmitters. Azilect is effective at treating Parkinson’s disease because it is an MAO inhibitor; these types of drugs can increase the level of neurotransmitters in the brain. An enzyme called monoamine oxidase is involved in the regulation of these substances – including the reduction of them. Azilect prevents this enzyme from reducing the amount of neurotransmitters in the brain which thereby result in a consistently higher level of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.


When will Azilect go generic?

Azilect went generic in May of 2006; Teva pharmaceuticals, an American Israeli pharmaceutical company, launched the first generic form of Azilect, sold as Rasagiline (Mesylate). Since then, there are a handful of generic manufacturers that market their own generic form of Azilect, such as…

·         Alkem Laboratories, a multinational pharmaceutical company, in October 2017.

·         Mylan, a global generic and specialty pharmaceuticals company, in May 2017.

·         Sandoz Inc., a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company known today as Novartis International AG, in July 2018.

The generic alternative, Rasagiline, can be purchased at My Drug Center in both available strengths.

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