This leaflet is to help you understand your medicine. It is not intended to be a comprehensive guide about your medicine, and it is not an official manufacturer’s patient information leaflet.
Always consult the manufacturer’s Patient Information Leaflet for the most up to date information regarding Monoamine B inhibitors.
Why have I been prescribed safinamide?
In Parkinson’s dopamine is lacking in certain areas of the brain, safinamide increases and sustains the level of dopamine in the brain. It is given in combination with other medication for Parkinson’s.
Safinamide is used to smooth out motor fluctuations in Parkinson’s and should help with some of the motor symptoms (slowness and poverty of movement, rigidity and tremor).
Is safinamide safe to take?
Safinamide is generally safe to take as directed but may not suit everyone. There are some conditions where safinamide is not always used.
Tell your Parkinson’s team if any of the following apply to you:
- If you are allergic to any of the ingredients.
- If you have liver disease
Taken Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors used for depression (for example, tranylcypromine or phenelzine) or pethidine in the last 7 days.
If you have previously been taking rasagiline, this must be stopped for two weeks before starting safinamide.
If you are taking any other antidepressants (particularly fluoxetine or fluvoxamine)
You have any condition which puts you at risk of damage to your retina.
Please check with a pharmacist before buying any cough or cold remedies that contain dextromethorphan, ephedrine or pseudoephedrine.
How should I take safinamide?
Safinamide is taken by mouth as a tablet; it is taken once daily; it may be taken with or without food. The starting dose is 50mg, this may be increased to 100mg once daily.
If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is at or near your usual dose, just take the next dose (do not double your dose).
Do I need any blood tests?
Generally, patients taking MAOB inhibitors do not need regular blood tests. Your Parkinson’s team will continue to monitor your blood pressure.
What unwanted effects of safinamide might I experience?
Unfortunately, you may experience some side effects. Most of these are quite mild and should go away after a week or two as you get used to your MAOB inhibitor.
The table (below) is a guide to what to do if you get any side effects. Not everyone will get the side effects shown, and most people do not.
|Side effects||How common?||What should I do?|
|Headache||Common||This should be short lived, contact your Parkinson’s team if it persists|
|Clouding of the lens of the eye||Common||See your optician if you notice any changes to your vision|
|Difficulty sleeping||Common||Contact your Parkinson’s team if this continues|
|Dizziness||Common||Do not drive or operate machinery. |
If problem persists, contact your Parkinson’s team
|Drowsiness||Common||Do not drive or operate machinery. |
If problem persists, contact your Parkinson’s team
|Dyskinesia (involuntary movements).||Very common||Contact your Parkinson’s team |
to review your medication
|Nausea and vomiting||Common||This should be short lived, contact |
your Parkinson’s team if it persists
|Low blood pressure on standing||Common||Ask your GP to measure lying, sitting and standing blood pressure.|
|Falls||Common||Seek urgent medical attention if necessary. Contact your Parkinson’s |
team if falls increase
|Hallucinations||Common||Contact your Parkinson’s team|
|Allergic reaction or fever||Rare||Seek urgent medical attention if there is swelling of the face or throat|
|Mental health problems – impulse control problem||Unknown||Contact your Parkinson’s team|
|Urge to take more Parkinson’s medication||Unknown||Contact your Parkinson’s team|
Dyskinesia (involuntary wriggly movements)
Dyskinesia is often a sign that the dosage of levodopa may need review, please contact your Parkinson’s team to review the dose and/or medication timings.
What about alcohol?
Generally, you should not drink alcohol while taking safinamide because both can make you drowsy, so taking them together may increase this further. However, once you are used to taking your medication you might wish to try a glass of your normal drink. If you do not suffer any adverse effects, you may be able to drink in moderation.
What about tyramine (strong cheese, cured meats, beer on tap, some overripe fruits, soy products, certain beans)?
Some other medication from the same group require dietary modifications to avoid dangerous increases in blood pressure. The manufacturers of safinamide have studied this and have found there is no need for any tyramine dietary restrictions when taking safinamide.
If my Parkinson’s is well controlled, can I stop taking it?
NO. This can be dangerous and result in a serious deterioration in your Parkinson’s. You and your Parkinson’s team will need to decide when you can stop taking it. Never change your dose or stop taking your MAOB inhibitor yourself.
Something not right?
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.
The James Cook University Hospital, Marton Road, Middlesbrough, TS4 3BW.
Telephone: 01642 850850
DISCLAIMER: This information was correct at the time of printing. While the Trust makes every reasonable effort to keep its information leaflets up to date, very recent changes may not yet be reflected in the guidance, and you should discuss this with the clinical staff at the time of your appointment.