What should I know before my child uses Nardil?

Before your child takes the antidepressant Nardil (phenelzine) you should know that it has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating any condition in children. Its use in children is considered "off label," and you and the doctor should weigh its potential benefits for your child against its potential risks.

Nardil belongs to a category of drugs called monoamine oxidase inhibitors or MAOIs, the oldest class of antidepressants. These drugs help treat depression, anxiety and some other conditions in adults by raising the levels of certain chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain, but because they're relatively likely to cause side effects, they're usually prescribed only if other antidepressants have failed to improve symptoms.

Antidepressants may raise the risk of suicidal thoughts and attempts in children, teens and young adults. Young people taking antidepressants should be monitored carefully, especially at the beginning of treatment, for sudden or severe changes in mood or behavior. It's important that they keep their doctor appointments so the doctor can watch them closely.

Nardil can interact with certain foods and other drugs, possibly causing dangerous side effects. Before your child starts taking Nardil, give the doctor a list of any medications (prescription and over-the-counter) and supplements that your child takes. Ask your doctor for a list of foods that your child should avoid while on Nardil, and don't give him or her any new medications or supplements without checking with the doctor first.

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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.