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Safinamide

Safinamide

What condition does Safinamide treat?

Safinamide is an FDA-approved prescription used for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease symptoms. This is used with another medication such as Carbidopa or Levodopa. Safinamide is in the class of drugs called monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. This increases the levels of certain natural substances in the brain that help improve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Some of the symptoms may include:

  • Slowness of movement
  • Tremor
  • Impaired balance and coordination

How does Safinamide work?

Safinamide works by increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain which is a natural substance that is needed to control movement. This drug is an inhibitor of monoamine oxidase inhibitor. The inhibition of MAO-B activity is by blocking the catabolism of dopamine. It is thought to result in an increase in dopamine levels and a subsequent increase in dopaminergic activity in the brain.

Dopamine is significant for several behaviors of our daily life. It plays a role in how we move as well as what we eat, how we learn, and even whether we become addicted to drugs. It is made in the dopaminergic neurons. Dopamine is in the ventral tegmental area of the midbrain which is the substantia nigra pars compacta and the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. It decreases the effect of the indirect pathway and increases the actions of the direct pathway within the basal ganglia. Once there is a lack of dopamine in the brain, movements may become hindered and uncoordinated. On the other side, if there is additional dopamine, the brain causes the body to make excessive movements. 

How to use Safinamide?

This medication is to be taken by mouth usually once a day. Each tablet is to be swallowed whole with a glass of water. You may have each dose with or without a meal. The dosage is based on your condition, age, weight, and response to the treatment. Your doctor may instruct you to start at a lower dose and gradually increase it. 

You must not take more or less than it is prescribed. To help you remember, take it at the same time and in the same way each day. If you missed a dose, do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose. Call your doctor for further instructions instead.

What are the possible side effects of Safinamide?

Common side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Abnormal movements 
  • Dizziness upon standing
  • Cough
  • Indigestion
  • Falling asleep during daily activities 

What are the precautions in taking Safinamide?

  • Let your doctor know if you ever had an allergic reaction to Safinamide. This may have an inactive ingredient that causes an allergic reaction. Tell as well to your doctor if you have any allergies. 
  • Inform your doctor about other prescriptions or non-prescription you are taking. It may be vitamins, herbal products, or nutritional supplements. 
  • If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult your doctor first before taking this medication. 
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Safinamide. Remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication. 
  • Tell your doctor if you have liver disease. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take Safinamide. 
  • It is not recommended to take amphetamines, certain antidepressants, and opioids while you are taking this drug.