What are MAO inhibitors and why do so many medicines have warnings about them?

  • 1 Replies

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.



  • Guest
WARNING - Do not take if you are currently using an MAO inhibitor.
This sentence is gradually replacing the words to the Gilligan's Island theme song in my head (and I don't know which is worse)  [;D].  Of course I'm exaggerating, but it seems like every medicine's paperwork contains warnings about taking it while using MAO inhibitors.  I expect to see it on breakfast cereal boxes and cans of frozen OJ one day soon.  So, naturally, I have to ask--

- What are MAO inhibitors?
- What are they used for?
- Are they all that common?
- Why do they cause problems with some many other meds?
   (If it was a kid, the report would read "Can't play nicely with others")
- What problems could develop?
- Can alternative meds other than MAO inhibitors be used?


Offline DrN

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 815
    • View Profile
MOA inhibitors are monoamine inhibitors - they are generally used as antidepressants, as they interfere with the action of the enzymes that metabolise serotonin. This means they effectively increase the levels of serotonin. However, they also have the same effect on other neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine and pseudoephidrine, which are contained in a vast range of over the counter medications (e.g. most decongestants).