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phenelzine (cont.)

What should I discuss with my doctor before taking phenelzine (Nardil)?

Do not use this medication if you have used another MAOI such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you take phenelzine before another MAOI has cleared from your body.

Do not take phenelzine if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland);
  • congestive heart failure;
  • a history of liver problems; or
  • if you need any type of surgery with anesthesia.

There are many other medicines that can cause serious or life-threatening medical problems if you take them together with phenelzine. The following drugs should not be used while you are taking phenelzine:

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a phenelzine dose adjustment or special tests:

You may have thoughts about suicide while taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Tell your doctor if you have worsening depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several weeks of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.

Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether phenelzine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication..

It is not known whether phenelzine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take phenelzine (Nardil)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. Visit your doctor regularly.

It may take several weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 4 weeks of treatment.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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