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What does it do?

Tranylcypromine is used to treat depression, and sometimes other conditions.

Before you start

  • Tell your doctor if you have bipolar disorder.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.

How should you take it?

Take tranylcypromine regularly as directed with a glass of water. You can take it with or without food.

What if you forget a dose?

If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with tranylcypromine including:

  • cold and flu medicines containing oxymetazoline (e.g. Drixine®), phenylephrine (e.g. Sudafed PE®) or xylometazoline (e.g. Otrivin®)
  • some migraine medicines, such as sumatriptan (e.g. Sumagran Active®)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. St John's wort) or recreational drugs (e.g. ecstasy).

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Suicidal thoughts

Symptoms of very high blood pressure including: severe headache, blurred vision, nausea, short of breath, chest pain, feeling your heart skips a beat

Muscle twitching or shaking you can’t control, confusion, heavy sweating, fever

Tell your doctor immediately

Restlessness, anxiety

Tell your doctor

Dizziness, drowsiness, trouble sleeping

Dry mouth

Less interest in, or trouble having sex

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • While you are taking tranylcypromine, and for two weeks after stopping, you MUST not eat certain foods and alcohol. These may cause a very serious reaction and include: cheese, meat or yeast extracts (e.g. Marmite®, Vegemite®, Oxo®), pickled fish, broad bean pods, sauerkraut, salami and protein drinks. This list is a guide only – talk to your health professional.
  • Tranylcypromine can impair your ability to do tasks such as driving or using machines. Alcohol makes this worse. Discuss your risk with your health professional. (search NZTA - Are you safe to drive?)
  • If you are having surgery, it is important to tell your doctor that you are taking tranylcypromine.
  • It may take a few weeks for tranylcypromine to start working.
  • Do not stop taking tranylcypromine without talking to your doctor first.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the MyMedicines Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Te Whatu Ora - Waitaha, New Zealand. January 2024

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at Te Whatu Ora – Waitaha. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed