What is Nardil (Phenelzine)?

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.

Mixing Alcohol and Nardil (Phenelzine)

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.

Summing Up Side Effects, Interactions, and Blackouts of Mixing Alcohol and Nardil (Phenelzine)

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.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.