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How can I minimize the side effects of Nardil?

There are several things you can do to minimize the side effects of the antidepressant Nardil (phenelzine), including:
  • Before you begin treatment with Nardil, give your doctor a list of all your other medications (prescription and over-the-counter) and supplements. Once you're on Nardil, do not take any new drug or supplement without checking with your doctor first.
  • Take Nardil exactly as your doctor tells you to. Do not take more or less, or take it more or less frequently than recommended. Do not stop taking Nardil without consulting your doctor first, because stopping suddenly may cause potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
  • Make sure your doctor has your detailed medical history, including all mental and physical conditions you have or have had in the past, as well as any that run in your family.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions to avoid particular foods and beverages while you are taking Nardil. Some foods may interact with Nardil, causing dangerous spikes in blood pressure or other side effects. Your doctor may tell you to be especially careful to avoid foods that are pickled, fermented, aged or smoked. 
  • Do not drink alcohol or non-alcoholic beer or wine while taking Nardil, or use any drugs recreationally. 
  • Do not drive, operate any machinery or engage in any potentially dangerous activity until you know how Nardil affects you. Nardil may cause drowsiness and other symptoms that could make accidents more likely.
If you do experience side effects, minimize their severity by talking to your doctor. Your doctor may be able to reduce the side effects by adjusting the dose of your medication. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following potentially dangerous symptoms:
  • sudden or severe changes in mood or behavior, including new or worsened depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts or attempts, aggressiveness, restlessness or trouble sleeping
  • signs of allergic reaction, including skin itching or hives, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or swelling of face, hands, mouth or throat
  • eye pain, vision changes or sensitivity to bright light
  • fast, slow or pounding heartbeat
  • fevers, chills, sweating, sore throat or body aches
  • headaches in the back of your head
  • problems urinating
  • nausea or vomiting
  • yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes
  • stiff or sore neck
  • seizures or tremors

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.