Parnate is a prescription medication that is used to treat patients with depression. It treats major depressive episodes and is often chosen when a first-choice antidepressant hasn’t worked. Parnate is classified as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, or MAOI. It helps to change the amount of certain chemicals in the brain. It can help to restore a better balance certain natural substances that have effects on mood.

There is a protein in the brain that works on other chemicals to break them down. These natural chemicals include serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Parnate blocks the protein that breaks them down so that they can remain longer in the brain. This can result in a significant improvement of mood. Parnate is the brand name of the active ingredient tranylcypromine sulfate. There are generics available of this brand-name medication.

Precautions and Warnings with Parnate

There are some people, generally those who are under age 25, who get suicidal thoughts, unusual behavior changes, and worse depression from antidepressants such as Parnate. This happens in a small number of people, but it’s important to be aware that this can happen.

It’s possible for this medication to cause very high blood pressure in some patients, and this can even be fatal. It’s important not to consume any food or drinks that have tyramine in order to lower the risk. You may need to have your blood pressure checked regularly to ensure safe blood pressure. Older people are more susceptible to this effect.

Parnate can cause drowsiness or dizziness. If you use marijuana or drink alcohol, it can make these effects worse. Before you drive a car or operate other machinery, you need to be aware of how this medication affects you. Don’t drink alcohol while on this medication, and talk to your doctor about any marijuana use to find out whether you should continue to use it.

If you’re going to have surgery, even dental surgery, the doctor needs to know that you’re taking this medication. The same is true if you need to use contrast dye for imagery. Tell your doctor about all the medications you take, even if they’re over the counter. You might have to stop taking Parnate before you have surgery.

For patients who have heart disease, this medication can hide chest pain. While you take Parnate, don’t do any strenuous exercise. If you are diabetic, this medication can cause low blood sugar. It’s important to regularly check your blood sugar levels to watch for this problem. If you get any symptoms of blood sugar that’s too low, report it to your doctor. These symptoms can include tingling in the feet or hands, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, sudden sweating, blurry vision, shaking, and hunger. It may be necessary for your doctor to change your diet, amount of exercise, or your diabetes medication.

If you’re pregnant, there are risks and benefits of taking this medication that should be weighed by your doctor. It’s important not to stop taking this medication suddenly. If you find out that you’re pregnant, see your doctor right away to find out whether you should keep taking it or taper off. This drug does go into breast milk. Before breastfeeding, talk to your doctor about any possible risks.

If you are allergic to this medication, don’t take it. Make sure your doctor has your full medical history before you take Parnate. This is especially important if you have had any of the following:

  • Specific adrenal gland tumors
  • Cerebrovascular disease like a stroke
  • Frequent or severe headaches
  • Glaucoma or a family history of it
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver problems
  • Mood and mental disorders like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia
  • High blood pressure
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Heart problems like heart attack, chest pain, heart failure, or coronary artery disease
  • Nervous system problems like seizures or Parkinson’s

Parnate Side Effects

There are a lot of common side effects of Parnate that are possible, and there are more serious side effects possible as well. Many patients have no side effects, and some patients who do see them go away after a couple of weeks.

Common Side Effects

If these side effects last more than a few weeks or are highly bothersome, let your doctor know about the problem. Some of the common side effects include:

  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • An excited or shaky feeling
  • Headaches
  • Greater sensitivity to light
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Stomach pain
  • Urinating less frequently
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Problems with orgasms or impotence

Serious Side Effects

There are also other, more serious side effects that can be possible. These need to be reported to your doctor as soon as possible These include:

  • Worse mood or behavior, panic attacks, hyperactivity, worsened depression, or hostility
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Severe and sudden headaches or pain or stiffness in the neck
  • Nausea, vomiting, cold sweat, and fever
  • Vision problems and/or dilated pupils
  • Seizures
  • Feeling as if you may pass out
  • Speech problems
  • Pounding or fast heartbeat
  • Weakness or numbness
  • Episodes of mania – high energy, racing thoughts, risky behavior, agitation, needing less sleep, and/or being more talkative
  • Liver problems – pain in the upper right side of the stomach, yellowing eyes or skin, dark urine, or loss of appetite
  • Too much serotonin – hallucinations, loss of coordination, shivering, sweating, vomiting, twitching, diarrhea, muscle stiffness, and agitation
  • Severe allergic reaction – difficulty breathing itching, hives, and/or swelling in the throat, face, tongue, or lips

Drug Interactions with Parnate

It’s important to cut our foods that are high in tyramine. Talk to your doctor about the foods you need to avoid. Foods like soy sauce, aged cheeses, orange pulp, and kimchi can cause problems with Parnate.

There are many prescription and OTC drugs that can interact badly with Parnate. Some of the drugs that shouldn’t be taken with Parnate include:

  • Almotriptan
  • Amoxapine
  • Atomoxetine
  • Amphetamine
  • Brimonidine (such as Mirvaso and Alphagan P)
  • Bupropion
  • Carbidopa
  • Chlorpheniramine
  • Citalopram
  • Codeine
  • Dexchlorpheniramine
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Dopamine
  • Doxepin
  • Epinephrine
  • Femoxetine
  • Fluoxetine
  • Guanethidine
  • Hydroxyzine
  • Linezolid
  • Meclizine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Midodrine
  • Naratriptan
  • Norepinephrine
  • Paroxetine
  • Promethazine
  • Pseudoephedrine
  • Rizatriptan
  • Sertraline
  • Tapentadol
  • Trazadone
  • Tramadol
  • Viloxazine

Strengths and Dosages of Parnate

Parnate is available only as an oral tablet. It comes in a strength of 10 mg. The typical dosage is 30 mg a day that is taken in divided doses. If it doesn’t work well at this dosage, this can be increased by 10 mg a day for a few weeks. The maximum dosage is 60 mg per day taken as 30 mg taken twice per day. In older patients and others who are at a high risk of low blood pressure, the dosages should be increased more slowly.

Oral tablet:10 mg

Cost of Parnate in the USA

A supply of 100 of the 10 mg tablets costs a little over $1,000. If you have a coupon card, you may pay significantly less. Coupon cards are free and are available online and in many pharmacies. If you have health insurance, it may require you to get the generic of the medication because the cost is much lower.

Why is Parnate so Expensive?

Its high price is because of the production costs of bringing it to market and manufacturing it as well as the demand for it on the market. As a brand-name drug, it will cost more than the generic versions.

Parnate Alternatives

There are many other antidepressants on the market that could serve as alternatives to Parnate. These include  Fluoxetine, Zoloft, Celexa, Wellbutrin XL, and Lexapro.

FAQs of Parnate

What is Parnate?

Parnate is a prescription antidepressant that helps to treat depression and major depressive disorder.

Why is Parnate prescribed?

It’s prescribed to treat patients who suffer from depression.  It’s generally a second-choice medication after a first-choice antidepressant hasn’t worked well for a patient.

Is there a generic of Parnate?

Yes, the generic form was FDA-approved in 2006.

Are there foods to avoid while taking Parnate?

Yes, there are many foods that shouldn’t be eaten when taking this medication. Ask your doctor for a full list of the foods that are high in tyramine that need to be avoided.

How long does Parnate stay in your system?

It can linger in the system for as long as a week.

Can you drink alcohol while taking Parnate?

No, it’s not recommended.

Can you take Parnate while pregnant?

It’s important to weigh the possible risks and benefits of it. Some pregnant women do take it while others aren’t willing to because of possible risks. Talk to your doctor about whether to take it.

Can children take Parnate?

Parnate has not been studied on children or teens. It’s also known that people under 25 who take it could end up with worse symptoms and suicidal thoughts. It has not been approved for use in children.

When was Parnate FDA-approved?

It was first approved in 1961.

Can you take Parnate if you have surgery scheduled?

Make sure the surgeon knows that you’re taking it. You may be directed to stop taking it for a while before you have your surgery.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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