Anxiety Medication Overview of Nardil

Nardil, the brand name of the drug phenelzine, is the monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) most frequently prescribed for anxiety disorders. MAOIs are the oldest class of antidepressant, and while effective, they are rarely the first type of drug prescribed for anxiety or depression because newer medications are generally safer and have fewer side effects.

However, Nardil can be very effective for some patients, especially those suffering from panic disorder and social phobia. It is also often prescribed for people who have treatment-resistant depression and have not responded to other, more commonly used antidepressants.

Unlike the more popular selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), MAOIs interact with a variety of foods and beverages (such as cheese and wine) and other medications (such as some pain relievers, cold and allergy medications, and some birth control pills) to dangerously increase blood pressure. They also should not be taken with SSRIs, as that can cause a potentially fatal condition known as serotonin syndrome.

If you have a social phobia that hasn’t responded to other treatments and are willing to avoid the foods, beverages, and medications that can negatively interact with Nardil, it may be an option you should discuss with your doctor.

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