Mebanazine (Actomol - ICI), introduced for the treatment of depression, is a hydrazine derivative like phenelzine, and a monoamine oxidase inhibitor. The introduction of yet another antidepressant of a familiar type is only justified if it has a wider safety margin while being at least as useful as existing effective remedies. Carefully performed (but unpublished) toxicity studies in the manufacturer's laboratories suggest that the safety factor for mebanazine is perhaps ten times greater in rats and mice than is that for any older hydrazine. Unlike drugs related to it, mebanazine is said not to reverse the effect of reserpine given to animals, and is thus claimed to be unlikely to increase the anxiety of the anxious depressive. Like other MAO inhibitors it may dangerously potentiate the effects of many drugs (see Drug & Therap. Bull. November 15, 1963, p. 60).
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