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Novel, FDA-Approved Transdermal Skin Patch EMSAM to Treat Depression

Posted Mar 03 2010 10:20pm

A transdermal skin patch EMSAM (selegiline) has received the FDA nod for treating melancholy and depression. The most significant aspect about selegiline is lesser side-effects in comparison to orally taken antidepressants that could revolutionize the manner in which major depression is treated.

Formerly employed for treatment of Parkinson’s disease and depression signs like anxiousness, panic attack, over sleepiness or heightened craving for foods, selegeline is a MAOI. MAOI belongs to an older category of antidepressant medicines that are classically employed as a final option. When consumed via oral course, the associated side effects of these medicines have a tendency of causing life-menacing hypertension as well other commonly noted side-effects linked with all antidepressant types like sexual dysfunction, headache, nervousness, wakefulness and feeling nauseous.

Depression has been associated with imbalanced brain chemicals especially lesser serotonin levels that several antidepressants attempt at augmenting. Selegiline is a set of medicines that bolsters serotonin by hampering a certain enzyme.

EMSAM patch for depressionOne key issue with orally taken antidepressants are that the enzyme that is blocked due to these medicines are additionally present in the intestine, where it dons a key task in digestion, particularly assimilation of a substance present is foods known as tyramine. In case there is excessive tyramine presence in the system it leads to blood vessel constriction and surging heart rate that could lead to risky abrupt and acute surge in blood pressure.

Due to this reason, patients consuming such medicines have to be on a stringent diet, steering clear from all tyramine containing food items, like matured cheese, chocolates, beers, wines (red, sparkling) among several others.

SSRI or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors also caused a surge in serotonin levels, though did not have instantaneously grave side effect, but were linked to some unlikeable issues like headache, sexual dysfunction.

The selegiline transdermal patch used for twenty-four hours during a day averts all such side effects. The plus point of this patch is that the drug permeates the skin and gaining direct entry into the blood stream, without firstly needing to travel via the digestive tract. Hence, there would be no requirement of restraining one’s daily dietetic intake and supplementary safety perils.

Studies indicate that 2 in 3 individuals are unable to find any benefits from the initial antidepressant treatment that is usually Prozac similar agents or SSRI.

Transdermal patch also helps in maintaining constant levels of the medicine in the body translating to enhanced management of symptoms and lesser intensity of side effects.

Contraindications mentioned on the EMSAM labelling is its usage with other antidepressant forms inclusive of St. John’s Wort, other types of MAOI, Trileptal, Tegretol alongside a host of other drugs inclusive of cold medications and weight loss medicines.

The key side effect experienced was skin irritation at patch site and negligible sexual side effects.

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