K K Jain MD (

Dr. Jain is a consultant in neurology and has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Originally released August 9, 2005; last updated November 3, 2020; expires November 3, 2023

Historical note and terminology

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors were considered potentially useful in the treatment of Parkinson disease, as blocking its breakdown could enhance dopamine transmission. However, nonselective monoamine oxidase inhibitors did not prove beneficial when given as monotherapy, and hypertensive crises were a problem. It was then discovered that selegiline, as a selective monoamine oxidase type B inhibitor, did not produce this reaction and was the first product in this category to be approved for the treatment of Parkinson disease. Rasagiline is a potent, second-generation, selective, irreversible monoamine oxidase type B inhibitor. Unlike selegiline, a drug for Parkinson disease with a similar mechanism of action, rasagiline is not metabolized to amphetamine derivatives. In 2005, the European Commission gave the final marketing authorization for rasagiline for the treatment of Parkinson disease. It is marketed in Europe as Azilect. It was approved by the FDA in the United States in 2006 and in Japan in 2018.

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