phenelzine (generic name)

It is used to treat depression in patients who may also have anxiety
(FEN el zeen)
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What is this medicine?

PHENELZINE (FEN el zeen) is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). It is used to treat depression in patients who may also have anxiety. This medicine is usually only used when other medicines have not helped.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • bipolar disorder or mania
  • frequently drink alcohol-containing beverages
  • headaches or migraine
  • heart or blood vessel disease, or irregular heart beats
  • high blood pressure
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • Parkinson's disease
  • pheochromocytoma
  • recent head trauma
  • seizures or convulsions
  • schizophrenia or psychosis
  • stroke or other cerebrovascular disease
  • suicidal thoughts or a previous suicide attempt
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to phenelzine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking this medicine suddenly except upon the advice of your doctor. Stopping this medicine too quickly may cause serious side effects or your condition may worsen.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • altretamine
  • atomoxetine
  • brimonidine
  • buspirone
  • caffeine
  • carbamazepine
  • certain medicines for blood pressure like clonidine, guanabenz, guanadrel, guanethidine, or reserpine
  • cocaine
  • cyclobenzaprine
  • dextromethorphan
  • diet pills or stimulants, like amphetamines or ephedra
  • diphenoxylate
  • doxapram
  • ephedrine
  • general or local anesthetics
  • ginseng
  • green tea
  • guarana
  • isoniazid
  • linezolid
  • MAOIs like Azilect, Carbex, Eldepryl, Nardil, and Parnate
  • medicines for migraine headaches
  • medicines for movement abnormalities as in Parkinson's disease like entacapone, levodopa, selegiline, tolcapone
  • meperidine
  • methylene blue
  • other medicines for mental depression, anxiety, or mood or mental problems
  • procarbazine
  • SAM-e
  • St. John's wort
  • succinylcholine
  • tramadol
  • tyramine (found in cheese, red wine, beer, chocolate and other foods)
  • tryptophan
  • yohimbine

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • diuretics
  • medicines for high blood pressure
  • prescription pain medicines

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Last Updated: May 06, 2013
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