Parnate (Tranylcypromine) Addiction and Abuse
When tranylcypromine is mixed other serotonergic medications, it can result in serotonin overload, psychosis, and permanent brain damage if left untreated. Patients taking an MAOI like Parnate need to refrain from ingesting foods or beverages that contain tyramine. Tyramine is present in many foods as a byproduct of fermentation. Foods like aged cheeses, meats, and chocolate are high in tyramine, as is red wine. When tyramine is present in the blood, it can trigger the release of norepinephrine.
Typically, the body would respond by slowing the release of norepinephrine and thus avoiding a spike in blood pressure. However, tranylcypromine disables this ability by preventing the breakdown of norepinephrine. The combined effects can result in a potentially life-threatening hypertensive crisis.
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However, this only applies to patients who follow the prescribed dose of tranylcypromine. There have been cases of individuals taking extra large doses of the drug to experience an amplified version of the drug’s stimulating effects. People who “chase a high” in this way are prone to experience withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings like that of an amphetamine user.
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