The MAOI Patch and the Tyramine Diet

When MAOI Inhibitors were introduced as the first antidepressants in the early 50’s, they came in pill form. The pills were processed in part by the liver and this caused severe side effects in people who had ingested food containing Tyramine.

The Food and Drug Administration pulled MAOIs from the market until they figured out what was going on. Later the FDA relented, so long as people were warned not to eat aged cheese, processed meats, draft beer, and a host of other common foods.

emsamIn 2006, a new delivery system was released, an MAOI patch called Emsam. This enabled the drug to bypass the liver on the way to the brain. Clinical trials of the 6 MG patch found no food interaction. Unfortunately, it usually takes a higher dose to achieve the antidepressant effect.

In a rush to market, the makers of the Emsam patch did not seek FDA approval for higher doses, so a patch for greater than 6 MG carries dire warnings about ingesting foods laden with Tyramine.

I wore a 12 MG (i.e., over the limit) patch during a recent two-week trip through Alsace, Bavaria, and Hungary during which I stuffed myself with smelly cheese, tap beer, cured pork, sauerkraut, goulash, foie gras, and other Tyramine-rich foods.









I’ve had no reaction at all. None. I’m not going to pay attention to the diet restrictions.

Mylan, the manufacturer of the Emsam patch, should run trials with patches stronger than 6 MG. The current guidelines unnecessarily restrict the dining pleasure of people on higher doses.

Your mileage may vary.

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4 Responses to The MAOI Patch and the Tyramine Diet

  1. Pingback: Tyramine Diet | Internet Time Blog

  2. Dean Billet says:

    I sometimes wonder when you look at some of these foods if they are really foods that one would eat everyday. Once you taste it and see what you’ve been missing you quickly come to realise, you were always out of the circle.

  3. Some foods that you look at sometimes make you wonder if they actually foods that one could eat everyday. Looking at these foods here I’d love to have these foods every day but just don’t have the time to cook scrumptious foods like this. Might have to hire myself a chef

  4. Jay says:

    I eat stuff like this every day when I am on vacation. If I tried it at home, I’d weigh 300 lbs.

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