Am wondering if anyone can enlighten ... - Parkinson's Movement

Parkinson's Movement

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Am wondering if anyone can enlighten me as to what the food/drink restrictions are whilst taking Azilect.


Have conflicting info on this. My neuro said I can eat cheese (thought it was a no no) and there is no advice on medicine packaging. When I researched on the internet there seemed to be all sorts of food/drink interactions. Would hate to have to give up my evening tipple along with all the other things.

16 Replies

Hi Munnings - I went through the same process just last year when I started Azilect and even gave away a good stilton we had for Christmas. I had never heard of tyramine until I started taking Azilect.

From what I can remember Azilect is an MAO-B inhibitor and many foods I believe are MAO-A types which means that the Azilect should not stop the breakdown of the tyramine from the food. The tyramine build up apparently causes high blood pressure.

Anyway I didn't know this initially so I immediately stopped all blue cheeses, beer, red wine and raw/pickled fish - some of my favourite food and drinks. After doing my research and asking both the neurologist and Parkinson's nurse for advice I can happily report that I am once again eating blue cheeses, pickled herrings and drinking beer. I do not drink so much red wine these days though as I seem to be less tolerant. So far (touch wood) I have not had any problems but to quote Monty Python we're all individuals so my advice would be to cut back on these food and drinks (you can easily google tyramine rich foods) and then introduce them back gradually. It worked for me!

Good luck.

munnings in reply to partypants

Thankyou partypants. Will take your advice. When I first read about the interactions of azilect and certain foods must say I was scared witless. Will try introducing things slowly. I'm not so keen on red wine now, don't know if gin and tonic is ok, will have to do my research. Some of the info on line is daunting, to say the least. I think, also, the rules have relaxed a bit over time. Was very surprised nothing mentioned on leaflet enclosed with medication.

partypants in reply to munnings

G&Ts are absolutely fine...once the sun's over the yard-arm of course!

Replies so far appear to be accuate. The older MAOI's, used in psychiatry, had definite tyramine-containing-food restrictions as concomitant use could cause sudden and severe hypertension (high blood pressure) resulting in stroke or death. However, the MAO-B inhibitors, such as Rasagiline (Azilect), appear to rarely cause hypertension in recommended doses (= 1mg daily for Rasagiline in treating PD) after ingesting tyramine-rich foods.

I too have not had any problems with foods. I read where you were supposed to avoid a high protein diet. I asked my neuro about this and he said not to worry about. The only instructions he gave me was to avoid eating for 1/2 hour after taking Azilect and not to eat 1-1/2 before taking it. I try to adhere to this but I don't notice any difference if I don't. I'm on the Paleo diet which is very high protein and minimal carbs. I've lost 45lbs and have never felt better. My cholesterol has come way down and my doctor just took me off my blood pressure meds.

I also take sinnemet and requip. Good luck

tlongmire in reply to nervous1

Congrats! How long have you been on the Paleo diet?

Norton1 in reply to nervous1


I seem to recall that the leaflet that comes with the Azilect tablets states that it can be taken with or without food, but check.


Hi Munnings - I take Azilect at 10.00 in the morning - with Sinemet and Amantadine (well, I am 11 years diagnosed) and have done so for 6 years . Taking it then does not conflict much as all I have before it is a freshly made fruit smoothie (apple, pear, orange, lemon and blueberries with natural yoghurt) and my porridge (well, I am a Scot). Food and Drink the

rest of the day is pretty much as I fancy - although I avoid protein and Sinemet within an hour of each other.

Oh and don't forget to exercise!

Kind regards

The only restriction I have come across is not to take any cold/cough medicine that contains the ingredient, Dextamathorafan.

Here is the azilect website that can answer all your questions about it. Aged cheese is repeat throughout the site. It cautions against an aged cheese like "Stilton".



I started taking Azilect 8 years ago and finished with it one year ago. I was told not to eat or drink anything that had been fermented for a long time: e.g.. blue cheese, aged cheddar, red wine, roll mops, marmite, balsamic vinegar, soya sauce.

I once ate a salad with balsamic vinegar followed by a main that had been marinaded in soya sauce. Before the meal was even over I felt like I had taken a sleeping pill.

I am now enjoying all those old favourites again, slightly stiffer maybe, but happy!!!

watch out for all cough medicines while taking sinement. [carbadops, levodopa] or maybwe even if you aren't on meds for Parkinson's . check the warning labels. i had one swallow of robitussin, and i was high for three days. walking into walls, worse then usual. felt like my feet weren't touching the ground. it was an awful feeling. i had no control over what my body was doing. just woozy. to me it was awful. i wasn't in charge of me anymore. it's not just robitussin it's all of them. check the label.

I have been on Azilect for 3 months. I have not noticed any changes. I just ran out of insurance assistance for name brand drugs. Has anyone applied to Tevia for the patient assistance program?

Thank you to all who have taken the time to reply to my question. It is good to get advice from people with first hand experience and not just text book knowledge (not knocking the professionals mind). I will commence with the Azilect with more confidence now and shall take a more relaxed view on the food interactions.

I too was nervous about all foods and drinks stated. I learned from others that it wasnt an issue and have not given up anything (wine, other alcohol, or cheeses). My only concern was the fact that it is advised not to take cold medicines while on Azilect. I have been on it for 1 1/2 yrs and am happy to say I have not had a cold or flu since. I too am on a Paleo diet and take several vitamins and minerals, and exercise.

I don't use tea coffee alcohol etc and was not told of any food restrictions . On some days i take around 35 vitamins minerals antioxidants especially astaxanthin .Anyone suffering cramps use a magnesium blend .

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