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Foods to avoid while taking medication for depression

I have a friend who is currently taking a lot of pills for depression and I have heard there are certain foods to avoid whle taking this type of medication ,can you tell me if thats correct?
Asked On : Sat, 25 Feb 2012
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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases 's  Response
Hello Marilyn,
Welcome to Healthcare Magic forum.
It would have been better if you would have known the names of the antidepressants your friend is taking.
Its true that a class of antidepressants called MAO inhibitors can cause high blood pressure, stroke or potentially fatal reactions when consumed with foods rich in the chemical tyramine i.e foods like cheese, meat, beer etc.
The following is a list of MAO inhibitors out if which only moclobemide may be considered safe and having minimal food and drug interactions.
Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
Moclobemide (Aurorix, Manerix)
Phenelzine (Nardil)
Selegiline [L-Deprenyl] (Eldepryl, Zelapar, Emsam)
Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
Pirlindole (Pirazidol)
Also the following is the list of foods rich in tyramine which when consumed with MAO inhibitor may cause increased levels of tyramine in blood which cannot be cleared due to inhibitory effect of the medication causing higb blood pressure and may even be life threatening.
Foods to Avoid

Aged cheeses, some processed cheeses (cottage cheese, cream cheese, pot cheese and ricotta cheese are allowed)
Chianti, vermouth, sherry, red wines, tap beer, nonalcoholic beer and wine
Broad (fava) beans
Italian green beans
Snow pea pods
Soy products, especially soy sauce and tofu
Aged or cured meats,Liver
Concentrated yeast extract, brewer's yeast, yeast supplements, yeast paste etc.
Any food that is not fresh, overripe, close to expiration date.
So hope your friend discusses these contraindications with her treating doctor so that any such adverse reaction can be prevented.
Wish you good health.

Answered: Wed, 29 Feb 2012
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