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Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors - Effects

Abstract: When are MAOIs used?

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Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors - Effects

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Written by: Petros Skapinakis, MD, MPH, PhD, lecturer of Psychiatry in the University of Ioannina Medical School, Greece. Eva Gerasi, postgraduate student in the Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Ioannina, Greece.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 22 Jul 2008.

When are MAOIs used?

Answer:

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are usually given to people with depression who:
  • Did not get better with other antidepressants.
  • Cannot tolerate the side effects of other antidepressants.
  • Have a family or personal history of successful treatment with MAOIs.
  • Have unusual depression symptoms. ("neurotic" or "atypical" depression with features which are opposite to the usual symptoms of depression, such as increased sleep, increased appetite, and increased weight.)
MAOIs usually are not the first medications given for depression because they have serious side effects when combined with certain foods and/or medications.

MAOIs are not recommended for children or teenagers.

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