NZ Formulary



What does it do?

Selegiline is used to treat Parkinson’s disease. It increases the amount of dopamine in your brain.

How should you take it?

Take selegiline regularly as directed with a glass of water.

What if you forget a dose?

If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with selegiline including:

  • cold and flu medicines containing dextromethorphan (e.g. Robitussin Dry Cough Forte®), oxymetazoline (e.g. Drixine®), phenylephrine (e.g. Sudafed PE®) or xylometazoline (e.g. Otrivin®)
  • some migraine medicines, such as sumatriptan (e.g. Sumagran Active®) or zolmitriptan (e.g. Zomig®)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. St John's wort) or recreational drugs (e.g. ecstasy).

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Fast or irregular heartbeat, chest pain

Tell your doctor immediately

Dizziness, headache

Trouble sleeping

Strange or uncontrolled movements

Tell your doctor

Lightheaded or dizzy after standing up

Stand up slowly. If it continues, or is severe, tell your doctor


Take with food

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have heart, blood pressure, or mental health problems.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • High doses of selegiline (more than 10 mg) require some dietary restrictions – ask your pharmacist.
  • Selegiline can impair your ability to do tasks such as driving or using machines. Alcohol makes this worse. Discuss your risk with your health professional. (search NZTA - Are you safe to drive?)
  • Selegiline can cause a serious condition called serotonin toxicity when used with some other medicines. Stop taking selegiline and tell your doctor immediately if you are feeling confused, have muscle twitching or shaking you can’t control, heavy sweating, or a fever.
  • Selegiline is not registered for use in New Zealand. Discuss with your doctor.
  • Do not stop taking selegiline without talking to your doctor first.