Medication Monday: Phenelzine

Welcome to another installment of Medication Monday, the weekly series that examines some of the mental health medications currently available, as well as some of the issues associated with those medications. This is not meant as a substitute for medical advice, but as a brief informative introduction that will hopefully help you be more prepared when you meet with your healthcare provider. Today we are talking about the antidepressant phenelzine, which also may go by the brand name Nardil.

Phenelzine is administered in 15 mg tablets and approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder. As with other mental health medications, it may take a week or two before the first effects are noticed and may take up to eight weeks for it to be fully effective.

Phenelzine should not be taken within two weeks of taking other mental health medications. Additionally, it should not be stopped suddenly, as doing so increased the risk of negative side effects and possible relapse.

Even if taken correctly there are some side effects you should know about, which is common for antidepressant medications. These include blurred vision, constipation, decreased blood pressure, dry mouth, headache, sedation, sexual side effects, and urinary retention. In rare situations, more serious side effects, including liver dysfunction, seizures, and serotonin syndrome, can occur.

Lastly, there are also some dietary considerations that users should know about. These considerations include high protein foods where the proteins may have broken down, food that isn’t fresh, excessive amounts of caffeine, and excessive amounts of chocolate. As with all the other considerations discussed on this page, you should ask your doctor for more details.

Medication can be an essential tool in managing depression. I say this as someone who is himself taking medication, just not this medication. If you are thinking about asking your doctor about a mental health medication, then I hope this series has been helpful. If there are other medications or issues you’d like to see on this series, please don’t hesitate to let me know, and as always, thanks for reading.

Be well.

Source: NAMI – Types of Medication – Phenelzine

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