Phenelzine is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) that is used to treat symptoms of atypical depression in adults when other medicines have not been effective.
Phenelzine is not for treating severe depression or bipolar disorder (manic depression).
Phenelzine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is Phenelzine (Nardil) used for?
- Depressive Psychosis
- Arteriosclerotic Dementia w/ Depressive Features
- Dementia w/ Depressive Features
What is the most important information I should know about Phenelzine (Nardil)?
You should not use phenelzine if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
- pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland).
- congestive heart failure;
- severe kidney disease; or
- a history of liver problems or abnormal liver function tests.
A dangerous drug interaction can occur between phenelzine and certain other medicines you use within 14 days before or after taking phenelzine. Your doctor may change your treatment plan if you need to use any of these medicines, including:
- epinephrine or norepinephrine;
- bupropion, buspirone, carbamazepine, guanethidine, levodopa, meperidine, methyldopa, tryptophan;
- ADHD medication;
- diet pills, cough and cold or allergy medicines;
- opioid medicine;
- other antidepressants;
- another MAO inhibitor--furazolidone, isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others; or
- drugs that affect serotonin levels in your body--stimulant medicine, opioid medicine, herbal products, or medicine for depression, mental illness, Parkinson's disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting.
This is not a complete list and there may be other medicines you should not take while you are taking phenelzine.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- high blood pressure, heart disease;
- epilepsy or other seizure disorder; or
- if you have taken another antidepressant within the past 5 weeks.
Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Phenelzine is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
What are the side effects of Phenelzine (Nardil)?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- sudden and severe headache, neck pain or stiffness;
- pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
- fast or slow heartbeats;
- chest pain;
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
- sweating (sometimes with fever and sometimes with cold, clammy skin);
- nausea, vomiting; or
- dilated pupils (your eyes may be more sensitive to light).
Common side effects may include:
- dizziness, feeling light-headed;
- drowsiness, sleep problems;
- feeling weak or tired;
- tremors, muscle twitching;
- dry mouth, stomach discomfort, constipation;
- swelling, weight gain; or
- sexual problems.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Can I take Phenelzine (Nardil) if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What drugs and food should I avoid while taking Phenelzine (Nardil)?
Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects could occur.
You must not eat certain foods, including:
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Eating these foods while you are taking phenelzine can raise your blood pressure to dangerous levels, causing life-threatening side effects. Also avoid these foods for 2 weeks after you stop taking phenelzine.
Phenelzine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Dosage Guidelines & Tips
How to take Phenelzine (Nardil)?
Use Phenelzine (Nardil) exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.
You may need to stop using phenelzine for a short time before any type of surgery or medical procedure. Tell any doctor who treats you that you take phenelzine.
It may take a few weeks before you receive the full benefit of taking phenelzine. Your doctor will determine how long to treat you with this medicine.
Do not stop using phenelzine suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I overdose on Phenelzine (Nardil)?
P D 270
Imprint: P D 270
Imprint: NL, 360
Form: film coated
Imprint: PD 270