Addiction A-Z

MAOI

An MAOI is a type of anti-depressant medication once popular in the United States. Short for monoamine oxidase inhibitor, the most common forms of MAOI include selegiline and moclobemide. Although they are known to work particularly well in patients with atypical depression, MAOIs have also been prescribed to people suffering from Parkinson’s disease and a whole host of mental issues such as anxiety, panic disorder, borderline personality disorder and PTSD. The full effect of the MAOI will take several weeks to appear after repeated ingestion. This characteristic may lead patients to erroneously believe that the drug does not work for them. Once the drug has reached its full strength in the patient’s body, the typical course of treatment lasts six months. An MAOI can be prescribed again if the depression returns at a later time. Like other prescription drugs, an MAOI may negatively interact with other substances that a patient may be taking, including food, beverages or other prescriptions. For instance, cheese is one food that should not be eaten when taking an MAOI as it contains tyramine, a chemical that interacts negatively with MAOI. Tyramine causes a large spike in blood pressure that could result in permanent organ damage. MAOI may also interact with certain cough and cold medicines that are available over the counter.

  • 877-825-8131