FDA Approves New Depression Treatment, Issues Warning
> 2/28/2006 3:56:06 PM

Today, the FDA approved Emsam, the first drug patch designed to treat major depression.  Worn once a day the patch delivers selegiline, a drug that was originally designed as a treatment for Parkinson's Disease. 

The patch, which will be distributed by Bristol-Meyers Squibb, showed some mild side effects during placebo controlled trials.  Selegiline is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor or MAOI, and when taken orally comes with a host of food restrictions due to the severe hypertension that can be caused by their ingestion with the drug.  In lower doses of the patch, this will not be a problem.

The only common side effect of Emsam detected in placebo-controlled trials was a mild skin reaction where the patch is placed. There may be mild redness at the site when a patch is removed. If the redness does not go away within several hours after removing the patch or if irritation or itching continues, patients are advised to contact their doctor.

Another side effect that was seen less commonly was light-headedness related to a drop in blood pressure.

Read the rest of the FDA's press release here.

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