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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Detailed Drug Information (USP DI) > Antidepressants, Monoamine Oxidase (MAO) Inhibitor

Antidepressants, Monoamine Oxidase (MAO) Inhibitor (Systemic)

Description and Brand Names | Before Using | Proper Use | Precautions | Side Effects | Additional Information

  • Antidepressant - Isocarboxazid; Phenelzine; Tranylcypromine
  • Antipanic agent - Phenelzine; Tranylcypromine
  • Headache, tension, prophylactic - Phenelzine; Tranylcypromine
  • Vascular headache prophylactic - Phenelzine; Tranylcypromine

Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors are used to relieve certain types of mental depression. They work by blocking the action of a chemical substance known as monoamine oxidase (MAO) in the nervous system.

Although these medicines are very effective for certain patients, they may also cause some unwanted reactions if not taken in the right way. It is very important to avoid certain foods, beverages, and medicines while you are being treated with an MAO inhibitor. Your health care professional will help you obtain a list to carry in your wallet or purse as a reminder of which products you should avoid.

MAO inhibitors are available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage forms:

  • Isocarboxazid
    • Tablets (U.S.)
  • Phenelzine
    • Tablets (U.S. and Canada)
  • Tranylcypromine
    • Tablets (U.S. and Canada)

Brand Names

Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S. -

  • Nardil 2
  • Parnate 3
  • Marplan 1

In Canada -

  • Nardil 2
  • Parnate 3


For quick reference, the following antidepressants are numbered to match the corresponding brand names.

This information applies to the following medicines:
1. Isocarboxazid (eye-so-car-BOX-a-zid)†
2. Phenelzine (FEN-el-zeen)
3. Tranylcypromine (tran-ill-SIP-roe-meen)
† Not commercially available in Canada


This information does not apply to furazolidone, procarbazine, or selegiline.


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Antidepressants, Monoamine Oxidase (MAO) Inhibitor: Before Using

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