This medicine contains as active ingredient phenelzine, a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). MAOIs may be effective in treating various types of depression but are rarely prescribed except when other depressants have not worked.
Monoamine oxidase (MAO) is a complex enzyme system found throughout the body. MAO is responsible for breaking down neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) that make the nervous system work. MAO inhibitors interfere with MAO action, causing an increase in the amount of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine stored through the nervous system. This increase is what gives this medicine its therapeutic effect, which is long- lasting and may continue for up to 2 weeks after you stop taking it.
The drug is prescribed for:
• Atypical depression
• Depression that does not respond to other drugs
• Night terrors
• Bipolar disorder
• Panic disorder
• Posttraumatic stress disorder
• Chronic migraine
• Social anxiety disorder
Before using this medicine
Before you use this medicine check with your doctor:
• if you ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to benzodiazepines.
• if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant while using this medicine.
• if you are breast-feeding an infant.
• This medication is used to relieve or prevent the symptoms of your medical problem. Take them as directed. Do not take more of them and do not take them more often than recommended on the label, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
• 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 regime. Adults and children age 16 and over: 15 milligrams taken 3 times a day to start, increased gradually to 60- 90 mg a day. Seniors: 15 mg in the morning. Dosage is increased very gradually.
Warnings and Cautions
• Do not take this medicine, if you are allergic or sensitive to any of its ingredients or to any MAO inhibitor.
• Do not take this medicine if you have any of the following disorders or diseases:
• Heart failure
• Liver disease
• Abnormal liver function
• Severe kidney-function loss
• History of headache
• History of stroke
• History of transient ischemic attack
• High blood pressure
• The most severe reactions to this drug, which can be deadly, involve very high blood pressure. Bleeding in the brain has occurred in people with very high blood pressure.
• Suicidal thoughts and actions have occurred in children and teens taking this drug. Warning signs to look for include:
• Unusual behavior changes
Along with the needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects.
Common side effects include:
• Bitter taste in the mouth
• Sleep disturbances
• Dry mouth
• Weight gain
• Sexual disturbances
Minor side effects are:
• Blurred vision
• Electric-shock sensations
• Tell your doctor about any side effects that are persistent or particularly bothersome.
Symptoms of overdose are:
• Low blood pressure
• Vascular system collapse
Take the victim to a hospital emergency room at once. Always bring the prescription bottle or container.
• This medicine may interact with several other drugs. This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol, and CNS depressants.
• Food interactions. Avoid food with a high dopamine, tyramine, or tryptophan level such as the following while taking this medicine and for at least 2 weeks after stopping this medicine as it may lead to severe high blood pressure:
• Cheese and dairy (processed American cheese, blue cheese, etc.)
• Fruits and vegetables (avocados, yeast extracts, raisins, etc.)
• Meat and fish (beef or chicken liver, game, dried fish, etc.)
Many other foods are contraindicated as well. Consult your doctor for a list of these foods.
• Be sure to tell your doctor about any medications (also over-the-counter drugs) you are currently taking.
Driving or Hazardous Work
Do not drive until you learn how the medicine affects you. Do not work around dangerous machinery. Do not climb ladders or work in high places. Danger increases if you drink alcohol.
Store at room temperature in tightly closed, light-resistant containers. Keep out of the reach of children since overdose may be especially dangerous in children.