Before taking phenelzine,
tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to phenelzine or any other medications.
tell your doctor if you are taking, have recently taken, or plan to take any of the following prescription and non-prescription medications: certain other antidepressants including amitriptyline (Elavil), amoxapine, clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), maprotiline, mirtazapine (Remeron), nortriptyline (Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), and trimipramine (Surmontil);amphetamines such as amphetamine (in Adderall), benzphetamine (Didrex), dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine, Dextrostat, in Adderall), and methamphetamine (Desoxyn);bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban); buspirone (BuSpar); caffeine (No-Doz, Quick-Pep, Vivarin); cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril); dexfenfluramine (Redux) (not available in the U.S.); dextromethorphan (Robitussin, others); duloxetine (Cymbalta); epinephrine (Epipen, Primatene Mist); guanethidine (Ismelin) (not available in the U.S.); levodopa (Larodopa, in Sinemet); medications for allergies, cough and cold symptoms, hay fever; anxiety, sinus problems, or weight loss (diet pills, appetite suppressants); medications for seizures such as carbamazepine (Tegretol); narcotic medications for pain; nasal decongestants, including nose drops and sprays; other MAOIs such as isocarboxazid (Marplan); pargyline (not available in the U.S.), procarbazine (Matulane), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar); meperidine (Demerol); methyldopa (Aldomet); 'pep pills'; sedatives; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft);sleeping pills; tranquilizers; venlafaxine (Effexor); and medications containing alcohol (Nyquil, elixirs, others). Your doctor may tell you not to take phenelzine if you are taking or have recently stopped taking one or more of these medications.
tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: barbiturates such as pentobarbital (Nembutal), phenobarbital (Luminal), and secobarbital (Seconal); beta blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), labetalol (Normodyne), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard), and propranolol (Inderal); doxepin cream (Zonelon), insulin and oral medications for diabetes; and medication for high blood pressure including diuretics ('water pills'), and reserpine (Serpalan). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications and monitor you carefully for side effects.
you should know that phenelzine may remain in your body for several weeks after you stop taking the medication. During the first few weeks after your treatment ends, tell your doctor and pharmacist that you have recently stopped taking phenelzine before you start taking any new medications.
tell your doctor if you are taking any nutritional supplements, especially phenylalanine (DLPA)(contained in aspartame sweetened products such as diet sodas and foods, over-the-counter medications, and some prescription medications), rauwolfia, tyrosine, or tryptophan.
tell your doctor if you have or have ever had pheochromocytoma (a tumor on a small gland near the kidneys) or heart or liver disease. Your doctor may tell you not to take phenelzine.
tell your doctor if you use street drugs. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had high blood pressure; diabetes; seizures; schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or unusual emotions); agitation; or hyperactivity or other movement disorders.
tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking phenelzine, call your doctor.
if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking phenelzine.
you should know that this medication may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
do not drink alcohol while you are taking phenelzine. Alcohol can make the side effects of phenelzine worse.
you should know that phenelzine may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is more common when you first start taking phenelzine. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.