This medicine is prescribed to treat atypical depression in those who have failed to respond to previous treatments.

IUPAC name: 2-phenylethyl hydrazine

Drug class: Antidepressant drug; Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOI)

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Route of administration: Oral

Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

Phenelzine is an irreversible MAO-A and MAO-B inhibitor. It acts by blocking the monoamine oxidase (MAO) enzyme, causing an increase in active monoamines (NA, 5-HT, dopamine) in the brain, which aids in mood regulation and depression treatment.

 Side effects

It may cause dizziness, fatigue, lack of coordination, weakness, constipation, headache, vision problems, disorientation, nausea, vomiting, weight gain, abdominal pain, high blood pressure, yellowing of skin or eyes, abnormal heart rate, agitation, dry mouth, sweating, tremors.


Before using this medication, take the following precautions and notify your doctor:

If you are allergic to it, or if you have other allergies,

If you are taking any other medication (prescribed, non-prescribed, or herbal products),

When you have a history of liver disease, kidney disease, and cardiac disease (heart failure, cardiac arrest, heart attack, coronary artery disease), tumor of the adrenal gland, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, hyperthyroidism, glaucoma, Parkinson’s syndrome, fits (seizures), high blood pressure (hypertension), agitation,

If you have undergone any type of surgery,

Use of this medication may lower your blood sugar level if you have diabetes.

Limit your alcohol usage since it increases your chances of developing blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness. It may also cause a loss of alertness.

This drug’s adverse effects are more severe in older adults.

This medication may affect your mental health.

Avoid abruptly discontinuing this medication without first seeing your doctor.

Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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