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)
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) should not be combined with other drugs that increase brain serotonin levels [for example, MAOIs, TCAs, sumatriptan (Imitrex), linezolid (Zyvox), St John's Wort, amphetamines] because there is a risk of dangerous adverse effects. The risk of gastrointestinal bleeding may be increased when SSRIs are combined with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) should not be combined with other antidepressants or other drugs that increase serotonin levels [for example, amphetamines, linezolid (Zyvox), St. Johns Wort, sumatriptan (Imitrex)]. Such combinations cause excessive serotonin levels in the brain, which may lead to confusion, high blood pressure, tremor, hyperactivity, coma, and death. Administration of MAOIs and other antidepressants or drugs that elevate serotonin should be separated by 14 days. Administration of MAOIs with epinephrine, norepinephrine, phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine, and dopamine may lead to hypertensive crisis. MAOIs interact with tyramine containing foods, resulting in a hypertensive crisis.
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