Phenelzine

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Information about Phenelzine

Phenelzine is a monamine oxidase inhibitor (MAO inhibitor) used in therapy of severe depression.

Liver safety of Phenelzine

Phenelzine therapy is associated with rare instances of clinically apparent acute liver injury.

Mechanism of action of Phenelzine

Phenelzine (fen' el zeen) is a hydrazine derivative and antidepressant that acts through inhibition of monamine oxidase, an enzyme that inactivates several neurotransmitter amines such as norepinephrine and serotonin. By inhibition of catabolism of serotonin and norepinephrine, phenelzine increases brain levels of these neurotransmitters which probably underlie its antidepressant effects.

FDA approval information for Phenelzine

Phenelzine was approved for use as therapy of depression in the United States in 1961, but it is now rarely used because of the availability of more potent and better tolerated antidepressants such as the tricyclic antidepressants and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Dosage and administration for Phenelzine

Phenelzine is available in generic forms and under the brand name of Nardil as tablets of 15 mg. The usual adult dose of phenelzine is 15 to 30 mg three times daily.

Side effects of Phenelzine

Common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, headache, insomnia, tremor, dry mouth, nausea, increased appetite, weight gain, sexual dysfunction and REM sleep suppression or complete elimination. Phenelzine interacts with many medications as well as many foods and beverages, and patients require careful monitoring and education.

The following antidepressant subclasses and drug records are discussed individually:

MAO Inhibitors Isocarboxazid, Phenelzine, Tranylcypromine

SNRIs Duloxetine, Levomilnacipran, Venlafaxine

SSRIs Citalopram, Escitalopram, Fluoxetine, Fluvoxamine, Paroxetine, Sertraline, Vilazodone, Vortioxetine

Tricyclics Amitriptyline, Amoxapine, Clomipramine, Desipramine, Doxepin, Imipramine, Nortriptyline, Protriptyline, Trimipramine

Miscellaneous Bupropion, Flibanserin, Mirtazapine, Nefazodone, Trazodone


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