Who should not take Nardil?

The following people may not be good candidates for treatment with the antidepressant medication Nardil (phenelzine):
  • anyone who is allergic to phenelzine or any ingredient in Nardil
  • women who are pregnant, plan to be pregnant soon, or who are breastfeeding. Doctors are not sure if Nardil is safe to take during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but research with animals indicates the drug may harm a developing fetus.
  • children. Nardil has not been proven to be safe and effective for treating children and is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat any condition in children. Prescribing Nardil to children is considered an "off label" use of the drug. 
  • people who have certain medical conditions, including liver, kidney or heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure or a history of stroke, or mental health problems, including bipolar disorder
  • people who need to undergo surgery. Anesthesia used in surgery may interact with Nardil. If you're on Nardil, you may need to stop taking it at least 10 days before your surgery; talk to your doctor.
  • anyone who drinks alcohol or uses drugs recreationally and who won't stop when taking Nardil
  • people with a history of drug addiction
People who take certain medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter, also may not be good candidates for treatment with Nardil, because the combination may cause potentially dangerous side effects. Before taking Nardil, be sure to tell your doctor if you take any of the following:
  • other antidepressants, or another medication for any mental health issue
  • cold and cough medicines (especially those that contain dextromethorphan)
  • decongestants (pills, drops or sprays) or sinus medications
  • hay fever medications
  • asthma inhalants
  • drugs to control appetite or reduce weight
  • caffeine or other stimulants
  • tryptophan
  • blood pressure medicine
  • narcotics, sedatives or any drug that makes you sleepy
  • insulin or other diabetes medications 

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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.