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Nardil Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Nardil (phenelzine) is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), a type of antidepressant, used to treat symptoms of depression that may include feelings of sadness, fear, anxiety, or worry about physical health (hypochondria). Nardil is usually given after other anti-depressants have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms. Nardil is not for treating severe depression or bipolar disorder (manic depression). Nardil is available in generic form. Common side effects of Nardil include dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness, weakness, problems sleeping (insomnia), constipation, upset stomach, dry mouth, decreased urination, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.
The usual starting dose of Nardil is one tablet (15 mg) three times a day. Dosage should be increased to at least 60 mg per day at a fairly rapid pace consistent with patient tolerance. There are many other medicines that can cause serious or life-threatening medical problems if you take them together with Nardil. Do not take Nardil before telling your doctor about all other prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor, dentist, or other healthcare provider who treats you. Nardil should be used only when prescribed during pregnancy. It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Our Nardil (phenelzine) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Nardil in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Stop using phenelzine and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- sudden and severe headache, rapid heartbeat, stiffness in your neck, nausea, vomiting, cold sweat, sweating, vision problems, sensitivity to light;
- chest pain, fast or slow heart rate;
- swelling, rapid weight gain;
- agitation, unusual thoughts or behavior; or
- feeling light-headed, fainting.
Less serious side effects may include:
- feeling weak or drowsy;
- sleep problems (insomnia);
- constipation, upset stomach;
- dry mouth, decreased urination; or
- impotence, difficulty having an orgasm.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Nardil (Phenelzine)
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
Nardil Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
Dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness, weakness, problems sleeping, constipation, and dry mouth may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fainting, mental/mood changes (e.g., agitation, confusion), muscle stiffness, changes in sexual ability/interest, shaking (tremor), shivering, swollen ankles/legs, unusual weight gain, vision changes (e.g., double/blurred vision).
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: severe stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting, seizures, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.
This drug may rarely cause an attack of extremely high blood pressure (hypertensive crisis), which may be fatal. Many drug and food interactions can increase this risk (See also Drug Interaction section.) Stop taking phenelzine and seek immediate medical attention if any of these serious side effects occur: frequent/severe headache, fast/slow/irregular/pounding heartbeat, chest pain, neck stiffness/soreness, severe nausea/vomiting, sweating/clammy skin (sometimes with fever), widened pupils, sudden sensitivity to light (photophobia).
This medication may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take (see Drug Interactions section). Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms: fast heartbeat, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, unusual agitation/restlessness.
A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Nardil (Phenelzine)
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Nardil FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
NARDIL (phenelzine) is a potent inhibitor of monoamine oxidase. Because this enzyme is widely distributed throughout the body, diverse pharmacologic effects can be expected to occur. When they occur, such effects tend to be mild or moderate in severity (see below), often subside as treatment continues, and can be minimized by adjusting dosage; rarely is it necessary to institute counteracting measures or to discontinue NARDIL (phenelzine) .
Common side effects include:
Nervous System — Dizziness, headache, drowsiness, sleep disturbances (including insomnia and hypersomnia), fatigue, weakness, tremors, twitching, myoclonic movements, hyperreflexia.
Gastrointestinal — Constipation, dry mouth, gastrointestinal disturbances, elevated serum transaminases (without accompanying signs and symptoms).
Metabolic — Weight gain.
Less common mild to moderate side effects (some of which have been reported in a single patient or by a single physician) include:
Genitourinary — Urinary retention.
Metabolic — Hypernatremia.
Dermatologic — Pruritus, skin rash, sweating.
Although reported less frequently, and sometimes only once, additional severe side effects include:
Nervous System — Ataxia, shock-like coma, toxic delirium, manic reaction, convulsions, acute anxiety reaction, precipitation of schizophrenia, transient respiratory and cardiovascular depression following ECT.
Gastrointestinal —To date, fatal progressive necrotizing hepatocellular damage has been reported in very few patients. Reversible jaundice.
Hematologic — Leukopenia.
Immunologic — Lupus-like syndrome
Metabolic — Hypermetabolic syndrome (which may include, but is not limited to, hyperpyrexia, tachycardia, tachypnea, muscular rigidity, elevated CK levels, metabolic acidosis, hypoxia, coma and may resemble an overdose).
Respiratory — Edema of the glottis.
General — Fever associated with increased muscle tone.
Withdrawal may be associated with nausea, vomiting, and malaise.
An uncommon withdrawal syndrome following abrupt withdrawal of NARDIL (phenelzine) has been infrequently reported. Signs and symptoms of this syndrome generally commence 24 to 72 hours after drug discontinuation and may range from vivid nightmares with agitation to frank psychosis and convulsions. This syndrome generally responds to reinstitution of low-dose NARDIL (phenelzine) therapy followed by cautious downward titration and discontinuation.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Nardil (Phenelzine)
Additional Nardil Information
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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