Nardil is a first-generation MAO inhibitor. It is one of the first effective antidepressants to be produced. MAO inhibitors treat depression by inhibiting the breakdown of monoamine neurotransmitters in the brain. First-generation MAO inhibitors like phenelzine aren’t as frequently prescribed as second-generation MAO inhibitors, because the effects of first-generation MAO inhibitors are irreversible. This means that once a patient has started taking Nardil, after a period of time, their brain will continue to suppress the breakdown of monoamine neurotransmitters to some degree for the rest of their life. Other neurotransmitters affected by Nardil in this way include melatonin, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.
Phenelzine should never be mixed with alcohol. Many types of alcohol contain high levels of tyramine, the same nutrient in foods that can conflict with Nardil and lead to a hypertensive crisis. Tyramine is a natural byproduct of the fermentation process. While some types of alcohol are low enough in tyramine to be safely consumed, it’s best to avoid alcohol altogether when taking Nardil.
MAO inhibitors like phenelzine should not be mixed with alcohol or foods that are high in tyramine. Tyramine is present in high quantities in many kinds of alcohol, processed meats, and fermented foods. It is advisable to supplement a phenelzine treatment plan with vitamin B6.
Side effects of treatment with Nardil can include a wide range of symptoms from nausea, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea to lethargy, dizziness, and, on rare occasions, liver toxicity. With this the risky list of potential complications, it is highly important to notify your doctor immediately any time new symptoms arise.
How Long Does Nardil Stay in Your System?
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