Emsam is used to treat depression in adults. As a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), Emsam works to increase the levels of monoamines (including dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin) in the brain. This helps the brain cells communicate better, which helps to alleviate symptoms of depression. At this time, there are no universally accepted off-label Emsam uses.
An Overview of Emsam UsesEmsam® (selegiline transdermal patch) is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of depression (also known as major depression or clinical depression).
Depression is more than just "feeling sad." Some common symptoms of depression include:
- Changes in sleep (sleeping too much or not enough)
- Eating too much or too little (and weight gain or weight loss)
- Having little interest in things that you used to enjoy
- Physical pain
- Feeling hopeless or worthless
- Suicidal thoughts.
In large clinical trials, Emsam has been proven to help adults with depression. While most monoamine oxidase inhibitors are usually used as a last resort when other antidepressants have failed, Emsam is an option that may be considered much earlier. Because Emsam (when used at the lowest dose) is less likely to interact with foods, it can be much easier to take, compared with other MAOIs. However, if you take anything but the lowest dose (Emsam 6 mg per day), you will need to commit to following a strict diet (see Emsam Food Interactions). Everyone taking Emsam at any dose needs to avoid many (if not most) medications, including over-the-counter products (see Emsam Drug Interactions).
Counseling and therapy (see Psychotherapy for Depression) are often used along with antidepressant medication to treat depression. Ask your healthcare provider if counseling or therapy would be good options for you (see Depression Treatment).