Phenelzine Side Effects
What should I watch for?
Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse. Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Because it may take several weeks to see the full effects of this medicine, it is important to continue your treatment as prescribed by your doctor.
This medicine can interact with certain foods that contain tyramine. The combination may cause severe headaches, a rise in blood pressure, or irregular heart beat. Foods that contain significant amounts of tyramine include aged cheeses, meats and fish (especially aged, smoked, pickled, or processed such as bologna, pepperoni, salami, summer sausage), beer and ale, alcohol-free beer, wine (especially red), sherry, hard liquor, liqueurs, avocados, bananas, figs, raisins, soy sauce, miso soup, yeast/protein extracts, bean curd, fava or broad bean pods, or any over-ripe fruit. Ask your doctor or health care professional, pharmacist, or nutritionist for a complete listing of tyramine-containing foods. Also, avoid drinks containing caffeine, such as tea, coffee, chocolate, or cola. After stopping this medicine, ask your health care professional how long you should continue avoiding these foods and drinks.
Patients and their families should watch out for new or worsening thoughts of suicide or depression. Also watch out for sudden changes in feelings such as feeling anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, overly excited and hyperactive, or not being able to sleep. If this happens, especially at the beginning of treatment or after a change in dose, call your health care professional.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
This medicine may cause dry eyes and blurred vision. If you wear contact lenses, you may feel some discomfort. Lubricating drops may help. See your eye doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.
Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, or allergies without asking your doctor or health care professional for advice. Do not take any medications for weight loss without your doctor's approval. Some ingredients in these products may increase possible side effects.
This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.
Tell your health care professional that you are taking this medicine if you are scheduled to have any surgery, procedure or medical testing. You should usually stop taking this drug at least 10 days before elective surgery.
This medicine may cause a decrease in vitamin B6. You should make sure that you get enough vitamin B6 while you are taking this medicine. Discuss the foods you eat and the vitamins you take with your health care professional.
Common and Rare Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position
shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
sudden jerky movements of the body
trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
Abdominal or stomach pain
actions that are out of control
burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
change in consciousness
decrease in frequency of urination
decrease in urine volume
difficult or troubled breathing
difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
false or unusual sense of well-being
fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
fear or nervousness
general feeling of discomfort, illness, or weakness
irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
lack of emotion or feelings
loss of appetite
loss of consciousness
loud or fast speech
nausea or vomiting
no emotion or expression in speech
pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
rapid, deep, or shallow breathing
seeing or hearing things that are not there
shakiness and unsteady walk
shortness of breath
slow or irregular heartbeat
swelling of the feet or lower legs
talking, feeling, and acting with excitement
uncontrolled eye movements
unpleasant breath odor
unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
unusual tiredness or weakness
vomiting of blood
yellow eyes or skin
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
decreased interest in sexual intercourse
inability to have or keep an erection
loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
loss of appetite
not able to have an orgasm
passing of gas
stomach pain, fullness, or discomfort
unable to sleep
unusually deep sleep
unusually long duration of sleep
redness, swelling, or soreness of the tongue
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.