How many of you anxious, manic, depressed bipolar folks have TRIED and FAILED on MAO regimes?

I’ve been a bipolar type 2 fast cycler for 32 years. The only class of meds that does me good are the MAOI’s. I’m doing better than most of your letter writers.

How many of you anxious, manic, depressed bipolar folks have TRIED and FAILED on MAO regimes? Every asked your psydoc? (They aren’t half as dangerous as many docs pretend.)



MAOI’s is the acronym for Monamine Oxidase Inhibitors.  This a group of extremely strong antidepressants and they have the distinction of being the first antidepressants used.  Their use began in the 1040s, then in the late 1960s and early 1970s tricyclic antidepressants appeared on the scene.  The use of MAOI’s decreased greatly.  By the late 1980s, early 1990s SSRI’s were considered the new wonder drugs for depression.

MAOI’s are used for atypical  depression  and treatment resistant depression as well.  They are also used to treat severe agoraphobia and social anxiety.  MAOI’S are very effective medications, they are also very powerful medications and have a tremendous amount  drug/drug contradictions and food/drug interaction,  which is why they are now considered the last line of defense for treatment of extremely severe depression.

Let me give  you the medical  definition,  then I’ll put into language that makes sense.

Monoamine oxidose inhibitors acts by inhibiting activity of the Momoamine Oxidase preventing breakdown of Momamie neurotransmitter increasing availability.

Now language we can all understand (finally, right?!?).  Okay simply all this means is that the Oxidase is protecting the Monnoamie neurotransmitter from losing it’s use. Unfortunately these drugs have an unbelievable amount of drug/drug and drug/food  interactions and contraindications. And these are not are not your garden variety annoying interactions you can deal with.  These interactions can actually be lethal and fatal.

I’m going to list both food and drug interactions;

Drug contraindications:

1.) Almost ALL antidepressants

2.) Almost ALL cold remedies

3.) Almost ALL anti psychotics

4.) Cough syrup

5.) Almost ALL heart medications

6.) Asthma ALL asthna inhalers

7.) Almost ALL herbal supplements

8.) Weight loss pill

This is not the entire list, but I think you get gist of it.

Food interactions;

1.) Ant foods containing Tyramine and L Trytophan

2.) Aged & matured cheese

3.) Air dried sausage; pepperoni, salami, pastrami

4.)All tap beer

5.) Sub sandwiches

6.) Pizza

7.) Lasagna

8.) Fava beans

9.) Wine

10.) Yeast extract

11.) Prossessed food

12.) Soy products

Again this not entire list but you get the idea.

Some of the names of these names are;

Nardil, Parmate, Warphan and Eblepryl

If you choose to ask you Pdoc for this type of medication, you need to be prepared to make some major life syle changes.  I would exhaust all other possibilities before trying a medication in this category,  as it takes a tremendous commitment.

I hope this answered your question  to your satisfaction.



~~~~~~~~~~ At which point MB puts in her two pennies~~~~~~~~~~

Though I’m SUPER happy you respond well to these types of meds, I have to admit, after hearing all the food interactions, I’m not sure I could do it. See the thing is, I like cheese….like really like cheese. Oh AND Wine! (Which works well cuz they totally go together!) I applaud you for being able to make that kind of commitment. I’m also curious if you experienced any of these drug/food interactions.

Have any of our other readers had experience with MAOI’s? Did they work or fail for you? And Rich, I seriously would love to hear more about your experiences with them!

2 thoughts on “How many of you anxious, manic, depressed bipolar folks have TRIED and FAILED on MAO regimes?

  1. Wow, Rich!!! I don’t think I could do it!!! Especially since I’m a vegetarian and eat lots of soy based products… And I need some of those pills too!!! I applaud your committment!!!

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