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MN Psychiatrist
MN Psychiatrist, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 792
Experience:  Physician for 17 years, adult psychiatrist for 13 years working with a wide variety of patients.
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I have been on Cymbalta for about a year and a half and it

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I have been on Cymbalta for about a year and a half and it didnt seem to be working but I stayed on it for that whole time. I went to the doctor today and told her that I was getting worse so she changed me over to a new drug called Prestiq and told me to just start taking it instead of the other but on the Prestiq box it says not to take it if you have taken an MAOI in the last 14 days but I dont know what an MAOI is. What should I do, or maybe the question I should be asking is what is an MAOI and am I on one?
Hello, I am a psychiatrist. These are good questions. An MAOI is a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor. What that means is a medication that inhibits Monoamine oxidase. Monoamine oxidase is a natural enzyme in the body that breaks down certain other chemicals, such as epinephrine (adrenalin) and norepinephrine (noradrenalin). MAOIs are uncommonly used to treat depression and certain other psychiatric disorders. The issue is that taking an MAOI and then switching to certain other medications (such as Pristiq) can result in extremely elevated blood pressures, to a degree that can be dangerous. This can also be an issue with certain foods, as well, most notably cheeses and red wine, but numerous other foods as well. This last point is why MAOIs are very rarely used anymore. Cymbalta is not an MAOI. Neither is Pristiq. The MAOIs used in the US are Nardil (phenelzine), Parnate (tranylcypromine), Marplan (isocarboxzid), and Emsam (selegiline). I hope this answers your questions.
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