For people who are first starting depression treatment with Emsam, dosages generally start at one 6 mg patch applied every day. Your healthcare provider may increase your dosage if needed. If you are taking any Emsam dose higher than 6 mg per day, you will need to follow a special diet in order to avoid dangerous food interactions. The Emsam patch is applied on clean, dry skin on the upper torso, upper thigh, or outer arm.
The dose of Emsam® (selegiline transdermal patch) your healthcare provider prescribes will vary depending on a number of factors, including:
- Other medical conditions you may have
- Other medications you may be currently taking.
As always, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
The recommended starting Emsam dose for treating depression is one Emsam 6 mg patch applied every day. For many people, this dose will be enough to treat symptoms of depression. However, your healthcare provider may decide to increase your Emsam dose if needed. If you are taking the 6 mg Emsam dosage, you do not need to change your diet. If you are taking Emsam 9 mg or Emsam 12 mg, you will need to follow a special diet in order to avoid dangerous food interactions (see Emsam Food Interactions for more information).
Some considerations for people taking Emsam include:
- Emsam comes as a skin patch. It is applied once a day. The old patch is removed when the new patch is applied each day.
- It is important to place the Emsam patch on clean, dry skin on the upper torso (below the neck and above the waist), upper thigh, or outer arm. Make sure to rotate where you place the patch (do not use the same place each day).
- Make sure to put the Emsam patch on skin that is not hairy, oily, scarred, irritated, or broken.
- Never, under any circumstances, cut the Emsam patch. This could result in an overdose.
- Be careful to avoid applying heat to the Emsam patch, as this could increase the amount of medication absorbed into your skin. Heat sources such as heating pads, heated waterbeds, hot tubs, saunas, and electric blankets should be avoided. Also, try not to expose the patch to too much sunlight for long periods of time.
- Keep Emsam patches in their original pouches until you are ready to use them.
- You should apply your Emsam patch at the same time each day to maintain an even level of the medication in your blood. Do not forget to take the old patch off when you put on the new one.
- Dispose of a used patch by folding it in half (so that the patch sticks to itself) and throwing it away (in a safe place out of the reach of children or pets). The used patch still contains some medicine.
- If some of the adhesive remains on your skin after removing the patch, wash the skin with warm water and mild soap. If necessary, a little baby oil or lotion can help to remove any remaining adhesive. Always wash your hands with soap and water after handling an Emsam patch.
- If you forget to change your patch as scheduled, simply change your patch as soon as you remember and continue with your regular schedule. If an Emsam patch falls off, replace it with a new patch, and continue with your regular schedule.
- Emsam may not work immediately, though it may work more quickly than many other antidepressants. Try to give Emsam a chance to work before becoming discouraged.
- For Emsam to work properly, you have to take it as prescribed. Emsam will not work if you take it in a way other than how your healthcare provider has prescribed.
- If you are unsure about anything related to your dosage or Emsam dosing in general, please talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. Do not stop taking Emsam without first discussing it with your healthcare provider.