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What are the Uses?

Phenelzine sulfate, or Nardil, is a medication that is used to treat depression

Nardil works by increasing the concentration of neurotransmittersepinephrine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, thereby relieving the symptoms of depression.


The usual starting dose is 1 tablet (15 mg) 3 times/day.

Early Phase Treatment

Dosage should be increased to at least 60 mg/day at a fairly rapid pace consistent with patient tolerance. It may be necessary to increase dosage up to 90 mg/day to obtain sufficient MAO inhibition. Many patients do not show a clinical response until treatment at 60 mg has been continued for at least 4 weeks.

Maintenance Dose

After maximum benefit from phenelzine is achieved, dosage should be reduced slowly over several weeks. Maintenance dose may be as low as 1 tablet, 15 mg/day or every other day, and should be continued for as long as is required.

When Will My Medication Start to Work?

Usually, you should start feeling better within seven to ten days. It may take up to four to eight weeks to experience the full effects of Nardil. The effects of this medication persist up to ten days after therapy is stopped. The onset and duration of the medication depends on the prescribed dosage, and varies from person to person.

Any Other Important Information?

If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the potential risks of this or any medication with your doctor.

If you are taking Nardil, you will need to know about some important dietary restrictions. Disregarding the dietary restrictions may lead to hypertensive crisis, which includes headaches, stiff neck, sweating, nausea, vomiting or much worse.

What are the Side Effects?

Remember that only some people will experience side effects and that no one experiences side effects in exactly the same way. If you experience any side effects, contact your doctor or clinician right away and continue taking your medication. The following list may not contain all of the side effects associated with this medication.

Most common side effects:

dizziness, drowsiness, headache, insomnia, nausea, weakness, constipation, dry mouth, weight gain, fatigue, twitching, sexual dysfunction, hypertension

Infrequent side effects:

jitteriness, euphoria, urinary retention, blurred vision, skin rash, sweating

Rare side effects/Risks:

shock-like coma, toxic delirium, hypomania, acute anxiety reactions

Overdose Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of overdosage may include, alone or in combination, any of the following: drowsiness, dizziness, faintness, irritability, hyperactivity, agitation, severe headache, hallucinations, trismus, opisthotonos, convulsions and coma, rapid and irregular pulse, hypertension, hypotension and vascular collapse, precordial pain, respiratory depression and failure, hyperpyrexia, diaphoresis, and cool, clammy skin.

Are there any Drug Interactions?

Remember, always follow your physician's recommendations on how to take your medication. Even if you are taking one of the following substances, continue taking your medication as prescribed and consult your physician. Also, if you are taking any herbal remedies, vitamins, and/or over-the-counter medications, be sure to tell your physician. The following section offers some, but not necessarily all, of the possible drug interactions.

Many different types of medications, food, and beverages should not be taken with a MAO Inhibitor such as Nardil. The following is a list of substances, that when combinedwith MAO Inhibitors, could lead to adverse interactions, even fatal ones:

Any MAO Inhibitors, amphetamines, any narcotics (opium, heroin, etc.), alcohol, SSRIs, TCAs, antihypertensives, diuretics, antihistamines, Wellbutrin(bupropion HCL), Buspar(buspirone), dextromethorphan HCL, Demerol(meperidine), or excessive amounts of caffeine.

Here is a list of the foods/beverages that should not be consumed when taking Nardil:

aged cheese (cream cheese and cottage cheese are okay), alcohol (especially beer and wine), avocados, bananas, beef or chicken liver, caffeinated beverages, canned meats, chocolate, sausages, eggplant, fava beans, figs, gravies that are preprocessed, green bean pods, homemade breads, Italian broad beans, liver, orange pulp, pickled or smoked fish, poultry or meats, raisins, red plums, salami, soups (packaged or soup cubes), sour cream, soy sauce, spinach, tomatoes, and yogurt.