Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.
I can not recommend for against your father using azilect since I can not review his history and examine him. However, I will provide you with general information regarding this medication.
Azilect is a selective MAO inhibitor. It is in that respect similar to selegeline (Eldepryl., Zelapar, the other MAO-B inhibitor). However, selegiline is metabolized to products like the substance amphetamine, and several of its side effects are attributable to that. This is not the case for azilect, it is not metabolized into amphetamines.
In early Parkinson's disease, Rasagaline has been shown, in clinical research trials, to be effective as monotherapy (taken alone without any other medications). In later stages of Parkinson's disease, addition of Azilect to sinemet has been shown in research studies to improve symptoms, and it mainly improves "off" time and improves the time that a parkinson's disease patient has benefit from sinemet without experiencing so-called dyskinesias (extra involuntary movements).
There is some suggestion from research that Azilect is neuroprotective: that it not only treats the symptoms of parkinson's disease, but that it slows the disease process, it helps slow progression of the disease. This is not unequivocally proven yet, but many physicians prescribe Azilect in the hope that is slowing the destruction of cells that occurs in Parkinson's disease. The research on this matter is currently on going, but what research is available does suggest that Azilect may be a neuro-protectant.
Azilect is not without its side effects but they are generally not severe and include headache, dizziness, small changes in blood pressure. At this time, food restrictions such as avoidance of cheese and wine (foods that contain tyramine, which when taken along with MAO inhibitors can cause surges in blood pressure and other side effects) are advised. However, research is on-going to determine whether this is necessary at lower doses of Azilect. It is also recommended that caution be taken when azilect is taken with anti-depressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (such as prozac, celexa, zoloft etc). It is not that these medications can not be taken with azilect, but there is warning by the FDA and the drug manufacturer about this, and simply caution must be exercised.
Thank you for using the forum, I hope you find this information useful good luck.
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