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General Drug Information and Indications
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Selegiline is used to treat canine cognitive dysfunction associated with aging. Symptoms of brain aging in the dog include loss of responsiveness, alterations in general awareness, memory loss, and loss of previously learned behaviors. Selegiline works by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. This drug is used in human medicine to treat Parkinson’s disease. It may take up to a month before you see any real change or improvement in your pet’s cognitive status, and there may be continued gradual improvement over time. Selegiline does not cure canine cognitive dysfunction but can improve quality of life for your pet. Selegiline is also used to treat some forms of Cushing’s disease in the dog.
Selegiline is FDA approved for use in the dog but it has not been FDA approved in the cat. When the appropriate form or dose of this drug is not available through a veterinary pharmaceutical manufacturer, it may be compounded by a specialty pharmacy.
Give this medication to your pet exactly as your veterinarian prescribes. If you miss giving your pet a dose of selegiline, give the next dose as soon as you remember or, if it is close to the next scheduled dose, return to the regular schedule. Do not double dose to catch up.
Wash your hands after giving your pet this medication.
Be sure to discuss any side effects with your veterinarian immediately.
The most common side effects are mild gastrointestinal upset, including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. If these persist, your veterinarian may recommend stopping the selegiline for a few days and then re-starting at a lower dose.
Less common side effects include restlessness, repetitive behaviors, and other signs of central nervous system stimulation.
Keep this and all drugs out of reach of children. This drug should only be given to the animal for which it was prescribed. Do not give this medication to a person. Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.
Be sure to review with your veterinarian any medications or supplements your pet may be receiving.
There are a number of potential drug interactions with selegiline. For some of these drugs, you may need to stop the first drug for at least two weeks before starting selegiline. Your veterinarian will advise you regarding which drugs need a wash-out period.
The following is a partial list of drugs with the potential for drug interaction: monamine oxidase inhibitors including amitraz, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors including fluoxetine, tricyclic and tetracyclic anti-depressants including clomipramine and amitriptyline, buproprion, tramadol, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine, and opiods, especially meperidine
If you suspect your pet or another animal was overdosed accidentally or has eaten this medication inadvertently, contact your veterinarian or the A.S.P.C.A.’s Animal Poison Control Center at 888.426.4435. Always bring the prescription container with you when you take your pet for treatment.
If you or someone else has accidentally ingested this medication call the National Capital Poison Center at 800.222.1222.
Different strengths or dosage forms of selegiline may have different storage requirements. Read the labeling or ask your pharmacist for the storage requirements of the prescription you receive.
She began to develop her interest in client education and medical writing in 1997. Recent publications include portions of The Pill Book Guide to Medication for Your Dog and Cat, and most recently Understanding Equine Medications published by the Bloodhorse.
Dr. Forney is an FEI veterinarian and an active member of the AAEP, AVMA, and AMWA.
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This content is intended for counseling purposes only. This content is informational/educational and is not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or patient. No claims are made as to the safety or efficacy of mentioned preparations. The compounded medications featured in this content have been prescribed and/or administered by prescribers who work with Wedgewood Pharmacy. You are encouraged to speak with your prescriber as to the appropriate use of any medication. Wedgewood Pharmacy’s compounded veterinary preparations are not intended for use in food and food-producing animals. All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.