Last update Jan. 23, 2023

Selegiline Hydrochloride

High Risk

Poorly safe. Evaluate carefully. Use safer alternative or interrupt breastfeeding 3 to 7 T ½ (elimination half-lives). Read the Comment.

It is an irreversible selective inhibitor of monoamine oxidase type B (MAOI-B), an enzyme involved in the metabolic degradation of dopamine in the brain. Potentiates the effects of levodopa and is used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease orally once or twice daily. Use in depression in the form of a transdermal patch every 24 hours.

At the date of the last update we did not find any published data on its excretion in breast milk.

Its very high percentage of protein binding make it highly unlikely that significant quantities will pass into breast milk.

Plasma levels in an infant whose mother was treated with transdermal patches 6 mg daily were undetectable. (Bauer 2017)
No long-term developmental problems have been observed in two infants of mothers treated with transdermal or oral selegiline. (Bauer 2017, Kupsch 1998)

Selegiline decreases the production of prolactin (Kodesh 2003, Calabresi 1993, Perényi 1983) and has been used to inhibit non-puerperal galactorrhea. (Sas 1986)

By increasing the production of dopamine, it inhibits the secretion of prolactin and may decrease milk production, especially during the first weeks after delivery. After the first month and/or when lactation is well established, milk production does not depend as much on prolactin levels: the stimulation of the infant's suckling and regular emptying of the breast are usually sufficient to maintain lactation. (Messinis 1985)

If this drug is used during lactation, it is advisable to monitor the production of breast milk.

Until more published data is known about this drug in relation to breastfeeding, known safer alternatives are preferable, especially during the neonatal period and in the event of prematurity.


We do not have alternatives for Selegiline Hydrochloride.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Selegiline Hydrochloride is also known as

Selegiline Hydrochloride in other languages or writings:


Selegiline Hydrochloride belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Selegiline Hydrochloride in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. oral 5 ; transderm 25 %
Molecular weight 223 daltons
Protein Binding 99.5 %
Tmax oral 0.5 hours
oral 10 ; transderm 18-25 hours


  1. Bauer RL, Orfei J, Wichman CL. Use of Transdermal Selegiline in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Case Report. Psychosomatics. 2017 Jul - Aug;58(4):450-452. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  2. Kodesh A, Weizman A, Aizenberg D, Hermesh H, Gelkopf M, Zemishlany Z. Selegiline in the treatment of sexual dysfunction in schizophrenic patients maintained on neuroleptics: a pilot study. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2003 Jul-Aug;26(4):193-5. Abstract
  3. Kupsch A, Oertel WH. Selegiline, pregnancy, and Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord. 1998 Jan;13(1):175-6. No abstract available. Abstract
  4. Calabresi P, Silvestrini M, Stratta F, Cupini LM, Argiro G, Atzei GP, Bernardi G. l-deprenyl test in migraine: neuroendocrinological aspects. Cephalalgia. 1993 Dec;13(6):406-9. Abstract
  5. Sas M, Godó G, Koleszár G. [Treatment of extra-puerperal galactorrhea with the MAO-B inhibitor selegiline]. Orv Hetil. 1986 Jun 22;127(25):1507-8, 1511. Hungarian. No abstract available. Abstract
  6. Messinis IE, Souvatzoglou A, Fais N, Lolis D. Histamine H1 receptor participation in the control of prolactin secretion in postpartum. J Endocrinol Invest. 1985 Apr;8(2):143-6. Abstract
  7. Perényi A, Bagdy G, Arató M. An early phase II trial with L-deprenyl for the treatment of neuroleptic-induced parkinsonism. Pharmacopsychiatria. 1983 Sep;16(5):143-6. Abstract

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