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Hypertensive attacks with MAO inhibitors


Some months ago we drew attention to the attacks of severe hypertension which can occur in patients taking monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (Drug & Therap. Bull. 1963, 1, 44). Most cases have been due to tranylcypromine1 (Parnate - SKF) with which an incidence of up to 20% is now reported2, but in others phenelzine3 (Nardil - Warner), nialamide4 (Niamid - Pfizer) or iproniazid5 (Marsilid - Roche) have been responsible. Both the frequency and severity of the reaction have been seriously underestimated; it may cause subarachnoid haemorrhage or acute cardiac failure. The duration of treatment and dosage vary considerably.

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