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Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors / MAO Inhibitors


General Description
Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors are used to relieve certain types of mental depression. They work by blocking the action of a chemical substance known as monoamine oxidase (MAO) in the nervous system.

Although these medicines are very effective for certain patients, they may also cause some unwanted reactions if not taken in the right way. It is very important to avoid certain foods, beverages, medicines, and supplements while you are being treated with a MAO inhibitor. It is important to consult your health care professional to obtain a list of which products you should avoid.

MAO inhibitors (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) were the first antidepressant medications invented that are generally available from a doctor’s prescription. While they are quite effective, they can be dangerous if combined with the wrong foods, drugs, or supplements. The substance tyramine, found in some cheeses, beer, fermented soy products, and other foods, is particularly dangerous to combine with these medications. Stimulant drugs such as pseudoephedrine, certain over the counter drugs, and various herbs can also cause problems.

Some MAO inhibitors may include but not be limited to:
Drug Family Drug Name(s)
benmoxin Nerusil, Neuralex
echinopsidine iodide Adepren
etryptamine Monase
furazolidone Furoxone
furazolidone Furoxone
iproclozide Sinderesin, Sursum
iproniazid Iprozid, Ipronid, Marsilid, Rivivol, Propilniazida
isocarboxazid Enerzer, Marplan, Marplon
mebanazine Actamol
metfendrazine H.M.-11
moclobamide Aurorix, Manerix A
nialamide Espril, Isalazina, Mygal, Niamid, Niaquitil, Nuredal, Psicomidina, Surgex
pargyline Eudatine, Eutonyl, Tenalin
phenelzine Nardil, Stinerval, Monofen, Fenelzin, Kalgan, Nardelzine
pheniprazine Catron, Catroniazide, Cavodil, Fenizin
phenoxypropazine Drazine
pivhydrazine Neomarsilid, Tersavid
safrazine Safra
selegiline, l-deprenyl Atapryl, Eldeprine, Eldepryl, Jumex, Jumexal, Lesotal, Movergan, Selpak, Novo-Selegiline B
toloxatone Hymoryl, Perenum C
tranylcypromine Parnate, Sicoton, Transamin, Transapin, Tylciprine


Notes
A. Reversible inhibitor
B. Selective MAO-B inhibitor
C. Selective MAO-A inhibitor

Ayahuasca also contains MAOIs, generally in the form of Banisteriopsis caapi or Syrian rue (harmine and harmaline).

Herb and Supplement Interaction
The following is a partial list of herbs and supplements that may perform similar functions as a MAO inhibitor and therefore may have negative interactions with MAO inhibitors. If you are taking a MAO inhibitor you should consult with your doctor before takeing the following herbs or supplements. Ginkgo Biloba Benefits - Those taking MAOI drugs for depression who experienced sexual dysfunction may benefit from the addition of Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) in the amount of 240 mg per day to effectively reverse the sexual dysfunction. Ginkgo has been reported to help men with some forms of erectile dysfunction.


Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / SSRIs

SSRI medications are very effective for certain patients, they may also cause some unwanted reactions if not taken in the right way. It is very important to avoid certain foods, beverages, medicines, and supplements while you are being treated with SSRIs.

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