Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

US Brand Name

  1. Marplan

Descriptions


Isocarboxazid is used to treat depression. It belongs to the group of medicines called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI). This medicine works by blocking the action of a chemical substance known as monoamine oxidase (MAO) in the nervous system.

Although this medicine is very effective for certain patients, it may also cause some unwanted reactions if taken the wrong way. It is very important to avoid certain foods, beverages, and medicines while you are using isocarboxazid. Your doctor may provide a list as a reminder of which products you should avoid.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Tablet

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of isocarboxazid in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of isocarboxazid in geriatric patients. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving isocarboxazid.

Pregnancy

Information about this isocarboxazid-oral-route
Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters C Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breastfeeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Amitriptyline
  • Amoxapine
  • Amphetamine
  • Apraclonidine
  • Atomoxetine
  • Benzphetamine
  • Brimonidine
  • Bupropion
  • Buspirone
  • Carbamazepine
  • Carbinoxamine
  • Citalopram
  • Clomipramine
  • Clovoxamine
  • Cyclobenzaprine
  • Cyproheptadine
  • Desipramine
  • Desvenlafaxine
  • Dexfenfluramine
  • Dexmethylphenidate
  • Dextroamphetamine
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Diethylpropion
  • Dobutamine
  • Dopamine
  • Dothiepin
  • Doxepin
  • Doxylamine
  • Duloxetine
  • Ephedrine
  • Epinephrine
  • Escitalopram
  • Femoxetine
  • Fenfluramine
  • Fluoxetine
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Furazolidone
  • Guanadrel
  • Guanethidine
  • Imipramine
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Isometheptene
  • Isoproterenol
  • Levodopa
  • Levomethadyl
  • Levomilnacipran
  • Linezolid
  • Lisdexamfetamine
  • Lofepramine
  • Maprotiline
  • Mazindol
  • Meperidine
  • Mephentermine
  • Metaraminol
  • Methamphetamine
  • Methotrimeprazine
  • Methoxamine
  • Methyldopa
  • Methylene Blue
  • Methylphenidate
  • Milnacipran
  • Mirtazapine
  • Nefazodone
  • Nefopam
  • Norepinephrine
  • Nortriptyline
  • Opipramol
  • Pargyline
  • Paroxetine
  • Phendimetrazine
  • Phenelzine
  • Phenmetrazine
  • Phentermine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Phenylephrine
  • Phenylpropanolamine
  • Procarbazine
  • Protriptyline
  • Pseudoephedrine
  • Rasagiline
  • Reserpine
  • Rizatriptan
  • Selegiline
  • Sertraline
  • Sibutramine
  • Sumatriptan
  • Tapentadol
  • Tetrabenazine
  • Tranylcypromine
  • Trazodone
  • Trimipramine
  • Tryptophan
  • Venlafaxine
  • Vilazodone
  • Vortioxetine
  • Zolmitriptan

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Albuterol
  • Almotriptan
  • Altretamine
  • Arformoterol
  • Avocado
  • Bambuterol
  • Bitter Orange
  • Bromocriptine
  • Clenbuterol
  • Colterol
  • Difenoxin
  • Diphenoxylate
  • Droperidol
  • Entacapone
  • Ethchlorvynol
  • Fenoterol
  • Fentanyl
  • Formoterol
  • Frovatriptan
  • Guarana
  • Hexoprenaline
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Indacaterol
  • Iobenguane I 123
  • Isoetharine
  • Kava
  • Levalbuterol
  • Licorice
  • Lorcaserin
  • Ma Huang
  • Mate
  • Metaproterenol
  • Metoclopramide
  • Morphine
  • Morphine Sulfate Liposome
  • Oxycodone
  • Pirbuterol
  • Procaterol
  • Reboxetine
  • Reproterol
  • Ritodrine
  • Salmeterol
  • St John's Wort
  • Terbutaline
  • Tolcapone
  • Tramadol
  • Tretoquinol
  • Tulobuterol
  • Tyrosine
  • Vilanterol

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Acarbose
  • Acetohexamide
  • Benfluorex
  • Chlorpropamide
  • Ginseng
  • Gliclazide
  • Glimepiride
  • Glipizide
  • Gliquidone
  • Glyburide
  • Guar Gum
  • Insulin
  • Insulin Aspart, Recombinant
  • Insulin Glulisine
  • Insulin Lispro, Recombinant
  • Metformin
  • Miglitol
  • Repaglinide
  • Tolazamide
  • Tolbutamide
  • Troglitazone

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication, change some of the other medicines you take, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

  • Caffeine
  • Tyramine Containing Food

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) or
  • Headache, history of or
  • Heart or blood vessel problems or
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) or
  • Kidney disease, severe or
  • Liver disease, history of or
  • Pheochromocytoma (an adrenal problem) or
  • Stroke, history of—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Diabetes or
  • Hyperactivity or
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure) or
  • Schizophrenia or
  • Seizures or epilepsy, history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Mania or hypomania—May be activated in patients with this condition.

Proper Use

Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.

This medicine should come with a medication guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For depression:
      • Adults—At first, 10 milligrams (mg) two times a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 60 mg per day.
      • Children—Use is not recommended.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to allow for changes in your dose and to check for any unwanted effects.

You will also need to have your blood pressure measured before starting this medicine and while you are using it. If you notice any change to your normal blood pressure, call your doctor right away. If you have questions about this, talk to your doctor.

When taken with certain foods, drinks, or other medicines, isocarboxazid can cause very dangerous reactions, such as sudden high blood pressure (also called hypertensive crisis). To avoid such reactions, follow these rules of caution:

  • Do not eat foods that have dopamine and a high tyramine content (most common in foods that are aged or fermented to increase their flavor), such as cheese (especially strong or aged kinds), caviar, sour cream, liver, canned figs, soy sauce, sauerkraut, fava beans, yeasts, and yogurt. Avoid smoked or pickled meat, poultry, or fish, such as sausage, pepperoni, salami, anchovies, or herring. Do not eat dried fruit (such as raisins), bananas, avocados, raspberries, or very ripe fruit.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages. This includes Chianti wine, sherry, beer, non-alcohol or low alcohol beer and wine, and liqueurs.
  • Do not eat or drink too much caffeine. Caffeine can be found in coffee, cola, chocolate, tea, and many other foods and drinks. Ask your doctor how much caffeine is safe to use.

Isocarboxazid may cause some people to be agitated, irritable, or display other abnormal behaviors. It may also cause some people to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies or to become more depressed. If you or your caregiver notice any of these adverse effects, tell your doctor right away.

Call your doctor or hospital emergency room right away if you have a severe headache, stiff or sore neck, chest pains, fast heartbeat, sweating, dizziness, or nausea and vomiting while you are taking this medicine. These may be symptoms of a serious side effect called hypertensive crisis.

This medicine may make some people dizzy or less alert than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or not alert.

This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that make you drowsy or less alert). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, other allergies, or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; prescription pain medicine or narcotics; medicine for seizures or barbiturates; muscle relaxants; or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you are using this medicine.

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur, especially when you get up suddenly from a lying or sitting position. Getting up slowly may help. When you get up from lying down, sit on the edge of the bed with your feet dangling for 1 or 2 minutes, then stand up slowly. If the problem continues or gets worse, check with your doctor.

Do not stop taking this medicine without checking first with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are using before stopping it completely.

Before having any kind of surgery, dental treatment, or emergency treatment, tell the medical doctor or dentist in charge that you are using this medicine or have used it within the past 10 days. Taking isocarboxazid together with medicines that are used during surgery, dental, or emergency treatments may increase the risk of serious side effects.

Your doctor may want you to carry an identification card stating that you are using this medicine.

Check with your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of liver problems, such as dark-colored urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach, or yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you are diabetic, be especially careful in testing for sugar in your blood or urine. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.

After you stop using this medicine, you must continue to exercise caution for at least 2 weeks with your foods, drinks, and other medicines, since these items may continue to react with isocarboxazid.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common

  1. Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  2. chills
  3. cold sweats
  4. confusion
  5. difficult urination
  6. dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from lying or sitting position
  7. fainting
  8. fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  9. fear or nervousness
  10. heavy feeling
  11. increased need to urinate
  12. passing urine more often
  13. restlessness
  14. shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  15. sudden jerky movements of the body
  16. sweating
  17. trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
  18. trouble sitting still

Incidence not known

  1. Agitation
  2. burning while urinating
  3. change in consciousness
  4. decrease in frequency of urination
  5. decrease in urine volume
  6. decreased urine output
  7. depression
  8. difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
  9. dizziness
  10. false or unusual sense of well-being
  11. headache
  12. hostility
  13. irritability
  14. loss of bladder control
  15. loss of consciousness
  16. muscle twitching
  17. nausea
  18. need to keep moving
  19. numbness or tingling of the hands, feet, or face
  20. rapid weight gain
  21. seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  22. seizures
  23. shakiness and unsteady walk
  24. stupor
  25. swelling of the face, ankles, or hands
  26. unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
  27. unusual tiredness or weakness

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  1. Constipation
  2. dry mouth

Less common

  1. Decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  2. drowsiness
  3. inability to have or keep an erection
  4. loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  5. relaxed and calm
  6. sleepiness
  7. sleeplessness
  8. trouble sleeping
  9. unable to sleep
  10. unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness

Incidence not known

  1. Black tongue
  2. blurred vision
  3. change in vision
  4. impaired vision
  5. increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
  6. itching
  7. raised, dark red, wart-like spots on the skin, especially when used on the face
  8. redness or other discoloration of the skin
  9. severe sunburn
  10. skin rash

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.