Monoamine oxidase inhibitor

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Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are a class of antidepressant drugs prescribed for the treatment of depression. They are particularly effective in treating atypical depression.

Because of potentially lethal dietary and drug interactions, monoamine oxidase inhibitors have historically been reserved as a last line of treatment, used only when other classes of antidepressant drugs (for example selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants) have failed.[1] However, a transdermal patch form of the MAOI selegiline, called Emsam, was approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States on February 28, 2006.[2] When applied transdermally, the drug does not enter the gastrointestinal system, thereby decreasing the dangers of dietary interactions associated with oral administration of MAOIs.

Contents

Indications

In the past, MAOIs were prescribed for those resistant to tricyclic antidepressant therapy, but newer MAOIs such as selegiline and moclobemide provide a safer alternative and are now sometimes used as first-line therapy, although these substances are not always as effective as their predecessors.

They are also used for treating agoraphobia or social anxiety. MAOIs can also be used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease by targeting MAO-B in particular (therefore affecting dopaminergic neurons), as well as providing an alternative for migraine prophylaxis. Inhibition of both MAO-A and MAO-B is used in the treatment of clinical depression and anxiety.

Mode of action

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