The FDA released a report in July of a trial on children and adolescents of the selegiline (Emsam) transdermal patch for treatment of depression, but few pharmacists and doctors know about it because it was not published, according to Patient Drug News. The FDA report declared that “the benefits of Emsam in this population have not been adequately demonstrated.” Patient Drug Newshas provided an analysis and commentary about the report.
Selegiline is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor and, according to Patient Drug News, even in adults the drug only decreased patient scores on the HAM-D depression rating scale by about 2.5 points out of nearly 30. “It is not known if small changes in HAM-D rating scale scores produce a benefit that is important to patients or their family members,” commented Patient Drug News.
The FDA specifically recommended avoiding use of the selegiline Emsam patch in children because of the risk of hypertensive crisis. Patient Drug News also discussed a number of other risks of the drug, including suicidal thoughts, and possible dangerous interactions with other common drugs, foods and remedies.