Depression Home > Nardil Food Interactions

Several foods should not be eaten while taking Nardil. Food interactions may occur if the antidepressant is taken with red meat, poultry, or fish that may be spoiled or yogurt and aged cheeses. Some foods can be eaten sparingly, including wine and over-ripe avocadoes. Since there are many dangerous food interactions with Nardil, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about other foods to avoid during treatment.

Nardil Food Interactions: An Overview

Nardil® (phenelzine sulfate) is a prescription medication used to treat depression. It is part of a group of medications called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). As with other MAOI antidepressants, there are many dangerous food interactions with Nardil.
 

Cause of Nardil Food Interactions: The Tyramine Effect

Monoamines are a certain type of chemical in the body that include dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, serotonin, melatonin, histamine, and several others. Monoamine oxidase is an enzyme that breaks down monoamines. MAOI medications block the action of monoamine oxidase, causing an increase in the level of monoamines in the body. In depression, the level of monoamines can be low, so increasing monoamines usually helps with depression symptoms.
 
Unfortunately, monoamine oxidase is also responsible for breaking down tyramine, a naturally occurring chemical that affects blood pressure. MAOI medications keep the body from breaking down tyramine and can lead to extremely high tyramine levels (which can be very dangerous). High levels of tyramine can cause a "hypertensive crisis" (dangerously high blood pressure).
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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