Health Library: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

Isocarboxazid Oral tablet

What is this medicine?

ISOCARBOXAZID (eye soe kar BOX azid) is an monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). It is used to treat depression.

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • breathing problems

  • chest pain

  • enlarged pupils

  • fast talking and excited feelings or actions that are out of control

  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls

  • fever, clammy skin, increased sweating, sore throat

  • headache

  • high blood pressure

  • muscle or neck stiffness or spasm

  • seizures

  • slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat

  • suicidal thoughts or other mood changes

  • trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine

  • yellowing of the skin or eyes

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • change in sex drive or performance

  • constipation or diarrhea

  • difficulty sleeping

  • increased appetite or weight increase

  • increased sensitivity to sunlight

  • muscle aches or pains, trembling

  • nausea or vomiting

  • swelling of the feet or legs

  • tired or weak

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • altretamine

  • atomoxetine

  • barbiturates, like phenobarbital

  • brimonidine

  • buspirone

  • caffeine

  • carbamazepine

  • certain medicines for blood pressure like guanabenz, guanadrel, guanethidine, or reserpine

  • cocaine

  • cyclobenzaprine

  • dextromethorphan

  • diet pills or stimulants, like amphetamines or ephedra

  • diphenoxylate

  • diuretics

  • doxapram

  • ephedrine

  • general or local anesthetics

  • ginseng

  • green tea

  • guarana

  • isoniazid

  • linezolid

  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Nardil, and Parnate

  • medicines for migraine headaches

  • medicines for movement abnormalities as in Parkinson's disease like entacapone, levodopa, selegiline, tolcapone

  • meperidine

  • methylene blue

  • other medicines for mental depression, anxiety, or mood or mental problems

  • prescription pain medicines

  • procarbazine

  • SAM-e

  • St. John's wort

  • succinylcholine

  • tramadol

  • tryptophan

  • tyramine (found in cheese, red wine, beer, chocolate and other foods)

  • yohimbine

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • disulfiram

  • medicines for allergies, colds, flu symptoms, sinus congestion, and breathing difficulties

  • medicines for diabetes

  • phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • bipolar disorder or mania

  • frequently drink alcohol-containing beverages

  • headaches or migraine

  • heart or blood vessel disease, or irregular heart beats

  • high blood pressure

  • kidney disease

  • liver disease

  • Parkinson's disease

  • pheochromocytoma

  • recent head trauma

  • seizures or convulsions

  • schizophrenia or psychosis

  • stroke or other cerebrovascular disease

  • suicidal thoughts or a previous suicide attempt

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to isocarboxazid, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. It can take up to 3 to 6 weeks to see the full effects of this medicine. Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine. This may make your condition worse or cause withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor or health care professional for advice about gradually reducing your dosage. Even after you stop taking this medicine the effects can last for at least two weeks. Continue to take all precautions and avoid all food and medicine that interact with this medicine.

This medicine can interact with certain foods that contain tyramine. The combination may cause severe headaches, a rise in blood pressure, or irregular heart beat. Foods that contain significant amounts of tyramine include aged cheeses, meats and fish (especially aged, smoked, pickled, or processed such as bologna, pepperoni, salami, summer sausage), beer and ale, alcohol-free beer, wine (especially red), sherry, hard liquor, liqueurs, avocados, bananas, figs, raisins, soy sauce, miso soup, yeast/protein extracts, bean curd, fava or broad bean pods, or any over-ripe fruit. Ask your doctor or health care professional, pharmacist, or nutritionist for a complete listing of tyramine-containing foods. Also, avoid drinks containing caffeine, such as tea, coffee, chocolate, or cola.

You may get drowsy, dizzy or have blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may increase dizziness or drowsiness. Do not drink alcoholic beverages while taking this medicine.

Patients and their families should watch out for worsening depression or thoughts of suicide. Also watch out for sudden or severe changes in feelings such as feeling anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, overly excited and hyperactive, or not being able to sleep. If this happens, especially at the beginning of antidepressant treatment or after a change in dose, call your health care professional.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.

Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, flu or allergies without asking your doctor or health care professional for advice. Do not take any medications for weight loss without advice either. Some ingredients in these products may increase possible side effects.

This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.

Tell your health care professional that you are taking this medicine if you are scheduled to have any surgery, procedure or medical testing. You should usually stop taking this drug at least 10 days before elective surgery.