What is Emsam?Emsam is a skin patch prescribed to treat major depression.
What is the most important information I should know about Emsam?Emsam is not approved for use in children or adolescents.
Antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, and young adults when the medicine is first started. Depression and other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts and actions. Some people may have a particularly high risk of having suicidal thoughts or actions. These include people who have (or have a family history of) bipolar disorder (also called manic-depressive illness) or suicidal thoughts or actions.
Pay close attention to any changes, especially sudden changes, in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. This is very important when an antidepressant medicine is first started or when the dose is changed.
Call the doctor right away to report new or sudden changes in mood, behavior, thoughts, or feelings. Signs to watch for include new or worsening depression, new or worsening anxiety, agitation, insomnia, hostility, panic attacks, restlessness, extreme hyperactivity, and suicidal thinking or behavior.
Keep all follow-up visits as scheduled, and call the doctor between visits as needed, especially if you have concerns about symptoms.
Emsam is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). This class of drugs, including Emsam, can cause a sudden, large increase in blood pressure (hypertensive crisis) if you consume foods and drinks that contain high amounts of tyramine.
Who should not take Emsam?You should not use Emsam if you are taking another medication that will interact with it, or if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in it. Talk with your doctor to find the best way to treat depression.
Do not take Emsam if you have a condition call pheochromocytoma.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Emsam?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Emsam. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, including heart problems, manic episodes, seizures, fainting, and if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. Also, tell your doctor about all prescribed, over-the-counter and herbal medicines you are taking.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: Emsam patches are available in three different dosage strengths: 6 milligrams (mg)/24hours, 9 mg/24 hours, and 12 mg/24hour. Your doctor will adjust the dose to best fit your needs.
How should I take Emsam?Apply Emsam patch to dry, smooth skin on your upper chest or back (below the neck and above the waist), upper thigh, or to the outer surface of the upper arm. Choose a new site each time you change your patch. Do not use the same site two days in a row.
What should I avoid while taking Emsam?You must not eat foods or drink beverages that contain high amounts of tyramine while using Emsam 9 mg/24hours and 12 mg/24 hours patches. (You do not have to make any diet changes with the Emsam 6 mg/24 hours patch.)
Do not take other medicines while using Emsam or for 2 weeks after you remove your last patch unless your doctor has told you to do so.
Do not drive or operate dangerous machinery until you know how Emsam affects you. Emsam may impair your judgment, ability to think, or coordination.
Do not drink alcoholic beverages while using Emsam.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Emsam?If Emsam is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Emsam with the following: amphetamines; antiseizure medication; all other antidepressants; carbamazepine and oxcarbazepine; cold medicines; Demerol; diet/weight loss pills; pain medication; and St. John's wort. Some of these medications need to be stopped for at least a week before you can start using Emsam.
While on Emsam, avoid tyramine-rich foods such as dried or aged meats (sausages/salami), fava beans, aged cheeses, beer on tap, yeast, sauerkraut, and soybean products.
What are the possible side effects of Emsam?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: increase in blood pressure (hypertensive crisis*); increased depression; mania or hypomania in people who have a history of bipolar disorder; low blood pressure
*Symptoms of a hypertensive crisis include the sudden onset of severe headache, nausea, stiff neck, a fast heartbeat or a change in the way your heart beats, excessive sweating, and confusion. If you suddenly develop these symptoms, seek emergency medical treatment right away.
Can I receive Emsam if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of Emsam during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Talk with your doctor before taking this drug if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Emsam?If you forget to change your patch after 24 hours, remove the old patch, put on a new patch in a different area and continue to follow your original schedule.
How should I store Emsam?Store at room temperature, in the original pouches that the patches come in.