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Selegiline is used to treat Cushing’s disease or hyperadrenocorticism and canine cognitive dysfunction (senility). A monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), Selegiline helps in significantly enhancing the concentration of a nervous system messenger chemical known as dopamine. The higher levels of dopamine stimulate the receptors in the brain, thus augmenting different kinds of cognitive processes.
Never use Selegiline in animals that are allergic to it or administer the drug to pregnant or nursing animals. Do not use the medicine in dogs that have Cushing’s disease caused by some reason other than a pituitary tumor. Avoid prescribing Selegiline in combination with SSRI antidepressants (fluoxetine), tricyclic antidepressants (clomipramine), narcotics such as meperidine, ephedrine or other MAOIs, insulin, phenytoin, sulfonamides such as Albon and phenothiazines such as acepromazine. Selegiline is rarely administered to cats. The medicine should only be used after making a proper diagnosis of pituitary-based Cushing's disease. Selegiline is not recommended for adrenal gland-based Cushing's disease.
Selegiline is usually available as 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg and 30 mg tablets. The recommended starting dose for the treatment of Cushing's disease is 0.45 mg/pound to be given in the morning. If the condition of the pet does not show any considerable improvement within 2 months, do increase the dosage of medicine to 0.9 mg/pound once a day. If the situation persists within 1 month of the increased dose, make a thorough diagnosis of the pet. The usual dose for Canine Cognitive Dysfunction is 0.2-0.45 mg/pound. It could take up to one month or more for any substantial improvement.
The major side effects of selegiline include vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, disorientation, hair loss, and shaking. The symptoms of overdose usually include salivation, panting, dehydration and death.
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