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Accidental or intentional overdosage may be more common in patients who are depressed. It should be remembered that multiple drugs and/or alcohol may have been ingested.
Depending on the amount of overdosage with NARDIL (phenelzine) , a varying and mixed clinical picture may develop, including signs and symptoms of central nervous system and cardiovascular stimulation and/or depression. Signs and symptoms may be absent or minimal during the initial 12-hour period following ingestion and may develop slowly thereafter, reaching a maximum in 24-48 hours. Death has been reported following overdosage. Therefore, immediate hospitalization, with continuous patient observation and monitoring throughout this period, is essential.
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, opisthotonus, rigidity, convulsions, and coma; rapid and irregular pulse, hypertension, hypotension, and vascular collapse; precordial pain, respiratory depression and failure, hyperpyrexia, diaphoresis, and cool, clammy skin.
Intensive symptomatic and supportive treatment may be required. Induction of emesis or gastric lavage with instillation of charcoal slurry may be helpful in early poisoning, provided the airway has been protected against aspiration. Signs and symptoms of central nervous system stimulation, including convulsions, should be treated with diazepam, given slowly intravenously. Phenothiazine derivatives and central nervous system stimulants should be avoided. Hypotension and vascular collapse should be treated with intravenous fluids and, if necessary, blood pressure titration with an intravenous infusion of dilute pressor agent. It should be noted that adrenergic agents may produce a markedly increased pressor response.
Respiration should be supported by appropriate measures, including management of the airway, use of supplemental oxygen, and mechanical ventilatory assistance, as required.
Body temperature should be monitored closely. Intensive management of hyperpyrexia may be required. Maintenance of fluid and electrolyte balance is essential.
There are no data on the lethal dose in man. The pathophysiologic effects of massive overdosage may persist for several days, since the drug acts by inhibiting physiologic enzyme systems. With symptomatic and supportive measures, recovery from mild overdosage may be expected within 3 to 4 days.
Toxic blood levels of phenelzine have not been established, and assay methods are not practical for clinical or toxicological use.
NARDIL (phenelzine) should not be used in patients who are hypersensitive to the drug or its ingredients, with pheochromocytoma, congestive heart failure, severe renal impairment or renal disease, a history of liver disease, or abnormal liver function tests.
The potentiation of sympathomimetic substances and related compounds by MAO inhibitors may result in hypertensive crises (see WARNINGS). Therefore, patients being treated with NARDIL (phenelzine) should not take sympathomimetic drugs (including amphetamines, cocaine, methylphenidate, dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine) or related compounds (including methyldopa, L-dopa, L-tryptophan, L-tyrosine, and phenylalanine). Hypertensive crises during NARDIL (phenelzine) therapy may also be caused by the ingestion of foods with a high concentration of tyramine or dopamine. Therefore, patients being treated with NARDIL (phenelzine) should avoid high protein food that has undergone protein breakdown by aging, fermentation, pickling, smoking, or bacterial contamination. Patients should also avoid cheeses (especially aged varieties), pickled herring, beer, wine, liver, yeast extract (including brewer's yeast in large quantities), dry sausage (including Genoa salami, hard salami, pepperoni, and Lebanon bologna), pods of broad beans (fava beans), and yogurt. Excessive amounts of caffeine and chocolate may also cause hypertensive reactions.
NARDIL (phenelzine) should not be used in combination with dextromethorphan or with CNS depressants such as alcohol and certain narcotics. Excitation, seizures, delirium, hyperpyrexia, circulatory collapse, coma, and death have been reported in patients receiving MAOI therapy who have been given a single dose of meperidine. NARDIL (phenelzine) should not be administered together with or in rapid succession to other MAO inhibitors because HYPERTENSIVE CRISES and convulsive seizures, fever, marked sweating, excitation, delirium, tremor, coma, and circulatory collapse may occur.
Concomitant use with meperidine is contraindicated (see WARNINGS).
A List of MAO Inhibitors by Generic Name Follows:
pargyline hydrochloride and methylclothiazide
NARDIL (phenelzine) should also not be used in combination with buspirone HCl, since several cases of elevated blood pressure have been reported in patients taking MAO inhibitors who were then given buspirone HCl. At least 14 days should elapse between the discontinuation of NARDIL (phenelzine) and the institution of another antidepressant or buspirone HCl, or the discontinuation of another MAO inhibitor and the institution of NARDIL (phenelzine) .
There have been reports of serious reactions (including hyperthermia, rigidity, myoclonic movements and death) when serotoninergic drugs (e.g., dexfenfluramine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline, citalopram, venlafaxine) have been combined with an MAO inhibitor. Therefore, the concomitant use of NARDIL (phenelzine) with serotoninergic agents is contraindicated (see PRECAUTIONS-DRUG INTERACTIONS). At least 14 days should elapse between the discontinuation of an MAO inhibitor and the start of a serotonin re-uptake inhibitor or vice-versa, with the exception of fluoxetine. Allow at least five weeks between discontinuation of fluoxetine and initiation of NARDIL (phenelzine) and at least 14 days between discontinuation of NARDIL (phenelzine) and initiation of fluoxetine, or other serotoninergic agents. Before initiating NARDIL (phenelzine) after using other serotoninergic agents, a sufficient amount of time must be allowed for clearance of the serotoninergic agent and its active metabolites.
The combination of MAO inhibitors and tryptophan has been reported to cause behavioral and neurologic syndromes including disorientation, confusion, amnesia, delirium, agitation, hypomanic signs, ataxia, myoclonus, hyperreflexia, shivering, ocular oscillations, and Babinski signs.
The concurrent administration of an MAO inhibitor and bupropion hydrochloride (Wellbutrin®) is contraindicated. At least 14 days should elapse between discontinuation of an MAO inhibitor and initiation of treatment with bupropion hydrochloride.
Patients taking NARDIL (phenelzine) should not undergo elective surgery requiring general anesthesia. Also, they should not be given cocaine or local anesthesia containing sympathomimetic vasoconstrictors. The possible combined hypotensive effects of NARDIL (phenelzine) and spinal anesthesia should be kept in mind. NARDIL (phenelzine) should be discontinued at least 10 days prior to elective surgery.
MAO inhibitors, including NARDIL (phenelzine) , are contraindicated in patients receiving guanethidine.
Last reviewed on RxList: 8/29/2007
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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