Nardil Withdrawal and Detox
Phenelzine prevents the breakdown of monoamine neurotransmitters. Monoamine neurotransmitters that phenelzine impacts include melatonin, serotonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, and trace amine neuromodulators like phenethylamine. By preventing the breakdown of these critical neurotransmitters, Nardil increases the concentrations of them in the brain, allowing them to have a greater impact on mood stabilization as well as reducing depression and anxiety.
MAO inhibitors are most commonly prescribed to treat atypical forms of depression. Phenelzine may also be prescribed to treat panic disorder, persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia), social anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bulimia, and social anxiety disorder.
Because of the increased risk of harmful interactions with other drugs and food, and the increased risk of side effects, MAO inhibitors tend to be prescribed as a second or third line of treatment after other drugs like tricyclics or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have failed.
It isn’t uncommon for the discontinuation phase of Nardil to last several months, gradually lowering the dose every two to three weeks. Depending on how long the patient has been taking Nardil, doctors may choose to extend the discontinuation phase to a year or longer before entirely stopping treatment.
Because phenelzine can have dangerous complications when mixed with other types of antidepressants, withdrawal symptoms can’t be managed by adding a small dose of another antidepressant. Serotonin syndrome, a severe condition that can result in psychosis, is a major risk when MAO inhibitors like Nardil are mixed with SSRIs like Prozac. Serotonin syndrome occurs when levels of serotonin become extremely high, which is one result of the combined effects of these drugs.
Liver toxicity can also become an issue since Nardil needs to be broken down by the liver. Eating tyramine-rich foods can increase the chance of liver toxicity. It’s recommended that patients refrain from eating foods that are especially high in tyramine, including meat that may be fermented, spoiled, pickled, or aged. For example, most pork, except for cured ham, is off limits. Other foods that are high in tyramine include alcohol, most cheese, and chocolate.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a 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 provider.
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