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Rasagiline is a new medication which is used to treat Parkinson's disease either as monotherapy (by itself) or in addition to levodopa therapy. The main advantage of rasagiline over medications with similar mechanisms of action such as selegiline is that rasagiline breaks down and is eliminated in the body without producing any undesirable metabolites.
Azilect is generally well tolerated. However, all medications can potentially have side effects. Some side effects that appeared in clinical trials with rasagiline include: headache, flu-like symptoms, malaise, neck pain, stomach irritation, depression, conjunctivitis, postural hypotension, constipation, vomiting, weight loss, joint pain, abdominal pain, and dyskinesia. This is not a complete list, but a list of some of the more common side effects reported. What about rasagiline in pregnancy? There are no documented studies regarding the use of rasagiline in pregnancy or in breast-feeding mothers.
Patients taking MAO (monoamine oxidase) inhibitors or pethidine should not take rasagiline (Azilect). There should be a minimum of 14 days from the stoppage of rasagiline and the beginning of treatment with MAO inhibitors or pethidine.
Rasagiline should not be administered at the same time as fluoxetine or fluvoxamine. Use of rasagiline with any other antidepressants should be approached with caution. Dextromethorphan or decongestants such as pseudoephedrine should also be avoided. Because of the manner rasagiline is removed from the body, there may also be interactions with medications such as ciprofloxacin, theophylline, entacapone, and other medications. Before starting rasagiline, patients should inform their prescriber of all medications that they take.
Product Code: 9656
What is a Generic Drug?
A generic drug is a copy of the brand-name drug with the same dosage, safety, strength, quality, consumption method, performance, and intended use. Before generics become available on the market, the generic company must prove it has the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug and works in the same way and in the same amount of time in the body.
The only differences between generics and their brand-name counterparts is that generics are less expensive and may look slightly different (eg. different shape or color), as trademarks laws prevent a generic from looking exactly like the brand-name drug.
Generics are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have to invest large sums of money to develop a drug. When the brand-name patent expires, generic companies can manufacture a copy of the brand-name and sell it at a substantial discount.