Annette (Gbemudu) Ogbru, PharmD, MBA
Dr. Gbemudu received her B.S. in Biochemistry from Nova Southeastern University, her PharmD degree from University of Maryland, and MBA degree from University of Baltimore. She completed a one year post-doctoral fellowship with Rutgers University and Bristol Myers Squibb.
In this Article
- What are antidepressants and how do they work?
- For what conditions are antidepressants used?
- Are there differences among antidepressants?
- What are side effects of antidepressants?
- Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are a class of antidepressant associated with postural hypotension (feeling faint upon standing due to decreased blood flow to the brain), high blood pressure, fainting, abnormal heart rhythm, dizziness, headache, drowsiness, insomnia, anxiety, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, sexual dysfunction, weight gain or weight loss, and edema. Seizures, rash, blurred vision, and hepatitis are infrequently associated with MAOIs.
What are the possible drug interactions?
Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
Combining tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) with clonidine (Catapres) may lead to dangerous elevations in blood pressure because TCA may inhibit the antihypertensive effect of clonidine. Combining TCAs with carbamazepine (Tegretol) may result in lower TCA blood levels and higher carbamazepine levels, leading to decreased TCA efficacy or increased carbamazepine toxicity. TCAs may increase the effects of epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. Dangerous increases in blood pressure and abnormal heartbeats may occur. Cimetidine (Tagamet) may reduce the breakdown of some TCAs [for example, amitriptyline (Elavil)] and potentially lead to increased side effects.
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