Azilect (Page 5 of 8)

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary

There are no data on the presence of rasagiline in human milk or the effects on the breastfed infant. In rats, rasagiline was shown to inhibit prolactin secretion. The clinical relevance in humans is unknown, and there are no data on the effects of rasagiline on prolactin secretion or milk production in humans.

The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for AZILECT and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from AZILECT or from the underlying maternal condition.

8.4 Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.

8.5 Geriatric Use

Approximately half of patients in clinical trials were 65 years and over. There were no significant differences in the safety profile of the geriatric and nongeriatric patients.

8.6 Hepatic Impairment

Rasagiline plasma concentration may be increased in patients with mild (up to 2 fold, Child-Pugh score 5-6), moderate (up to 7 fold, Child-Pugh score 7-9), and severe (Child-Pugh score 10-15) hepatic impairment. Patients with mild hepatic impairment should not exceed a dose of 0.5 mg/day. AZILECT should not be used in patients with moderate or severe hepatic impairment [see Dosage and Administration (2.3), Warnings and Precautions (5.5) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

8.7 Renal Impairment

Dose adjustment of AZILECT is not required for patients with mild or moderate renal impairment because AZILECT plasma concentrations are not increased in patients with moderate renal impairment. Rasagiline has not been studied in patients with severe renal impairment [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].


9.1 Controlled Substance

AZILECT is not a controlled substance.

9.2 Abuse

Studies conducted in mice and rats did not reveal any potential for drug abuse and dependence. Clinical trials have not revealed any evidence of the potential for abuse, tolerance, or physical dependence; however, systematic studies in humans designed to evaluate these effects have not been performed.

9.3 Dependence

Studies conducted in mice and rats did not reveal any potential for drug abuse and dependence. Clinical trials have not revealed any evidence of the potential for abuse, tolerance, or physical dependence; however, systematic studies in humans designed to evaluate these effects have not been performed.


In a dose escalation study in patients on chronic levodopa therapy treated with 10 mg of AZILECT there were three reports of cardiovascular side effects (including hypertension and postural hypotension) which resolved following treatment discontinuation.

Although no cases of overdose have been observed with AZILECT during the clinical development program, the following description of presenting symptoms and clinical course is based upon overdose descriptions of nonselective MAO inhibitors.

The signs and symptoms of nonselective MAOI overdose may not appear immediately. Delays of up to 12 hours after ingestion of drug and the appearance of signs may occur. The peak intensity of the syndrome may not be reached until for a day following the overdose. Death has been reported following overdose; therefore, immediate hospitalization, with continuous patient observation and monitoring for at least two days following the ingestion of such drugs in overdose, is strongly recommended.

The severity of the clinical signs and symptoms of MAOI overdose varies and may be related to the amount of drug consumed. The central nervous and cardiovascular systems are prominently involved.

Signs and symptoms of MAOI overdose may include: drowsiness, dizziness, faintness, irritability, hyperactivity, agitation, severe headache, hallucinations, trismus, opisthotonos, convulsions, and coma; rapid and irregular pulse, hypertension, hypotension and vascular collapse; precordial pain, respiratory depression and failure, hyperpyrexia, diaphoresis, and cool, clammy skin.

There is no specific antidote for AZILECT overdose. The following suggestions are offered based upon the assumption that AZILECT overdose may be modeled after nonselective MAO inhibitor poisoning. Treatment of overdose with nonselective MAO inhibitors is symptomatic and supportive. Respiration should be supported by appropriate measures, including management of the airway, use of supplemental oxygen, and mechanical ventilatory assistance, as required. Body temperature should be monitored closely. Intensive management of hyperpyrexia may be required. Maintenance of fluid and electrolyte balance is essential. For this reason, in cases of overdose with AZILECT, dietary tyramine restriction should be observed for several weeks to reduce the risk of hypertensive tyramine reaction.

A poison control center should be called for the most current treatment guidelines.

A postmarketing report described a single patient who developed a nonfatal serotonin syndrome after ingesting 100 mg of AZILECT in a suicide attempt. Another patient who was treated in error with 4 mg AZILECT daily and tramadol also developed a serotonin syndrome. One patient who was treated in error with 3 mg AZILECT daily experienced alternating episodes of vascular fluctuations consisting of hypertension and orthostatic hypotension.


AZILECT® tablets contain rasagiline (as the mesylate), a propargylamine-based drug indicated for the treatment of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. Rasagiline mesylate is designated chemically as: 1H-Inden-1-amine, 2, 3-dihydro-N-2-propynyl-, (1R)-, methanesulfonate. The empirical formula of rasagiline mesylate is C12 H13 N•CH4 SO3 and its molecular weight is 267.34.

Its structural formula is:

chemical structure

Rasagiline mesylate is a white to off-white powder, freely soluble in water or ethanol and sparingly soluble in isopropanol. Each AZILECT tablet for oral administration contains 0.5 mg or 1 mg of rasagiline (equivalent to 0.78 mg or 1.56 mg of rasagiline mesylate).

Each AZILECT tablet also contains the following inactive ingredients: mannitol, starch, pregelatinized starch, colloidal silicon dioxide, stearic acid, and talc.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

AZILECT is a selective, irreversible MAO-B inhibitor indicated for the treatment of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. The results of a clinical trial designed to examine the effects of AZILECT on blood pressure when it is administered with increasing doses of tyramine indicates the functional selectivity can be incomplete when healthy subjects ingest large amounts of tyramine while receiving recommended doses of AZILECT. The selectivity for inhibiting MAO-B diminishes in a dose-related manner.

MAO, a flavin-containing enzyme, is classified into two major molecular species, A and B, and is localized in mitochondrial membranes throughout the body in nerve terminals, brain, liver and intestinal mucosa. MAO regulates the metabolic degradation of catecholamines and serotonin in the CNS and peripheral tissues. MAO-B is the major form in the human brain. In ex vivo animal studies in brain, liver, and intestinal tissues, rasagiline was shown to be a potent, irreversible monoamine oxidase type B (MAO-B) selective inhibitor. Rasagiline at the recommended therapeutic dose was also shown to be a potent and irreversible inhibitor of MAO-B in platelets. The precise mechanisms of action of rasagiline are unknown. One mechanism is believed to be related to its MAO-B inhibitory activity, which causes an increase in extracellular levels of dopamine in the striatum. The elevated dopamine level and subsequent increased dopaminergic activity are likely to mediate rasagiline’s beneficial effects seen in models of dopaminergic motor dysfunction.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

Tyramine Challenge Test

Results of a tyramine challenge study indicate that rasagiline at recommended doses is relatively selective for inhibiting MAO-B and can be used without dietary tyramine restriction. However, certain foods (e.g., aged cheeses, such as Stilton cheese) may contain very high amounts of tyramine (i.e., 150 mg or greater) and could potentially cause severe hypertension caused by tyramine interaction in patients taking AZILECT due to mild increased sensitivity to tyramine at recommended doses. Relative selectivity of AZILECT for inhibiting MAO-B diminished in a dose-related manner as the dose progressively increased above the highest recommended daily dose (1 mg) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) and Drug Interactions (7.7)].

Platelet MAO Activity in Clinical Studies

Studies in healthy subjects and in Parkinson’s disease patients have shown that rasagiline inhibits platelet MAO-B irreversibly. The inhibition lasts at least 1 week after last dose. Almost 25-35% MAO-B inhibition was achieved after a single rasagiline dose of 1 mg/day and more than 55% of MAO-B inhibition was achieved after a single rasagiline dose of 2 mg/day. Over 90% inhibition was achieved 3 days after rasagiline daily dosing at 2 mg/day and this inhibition level was maintained 3 days postdose. Multiple doses of rasagiline of 0.5, 1, and 2 mg per day resulted in complete MAO-B inhibition.

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