A drug that prevents the activity of the enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO). MAO inhibitors include phenelzine, isocarboxazid, and tranylcypromine. These drugs are irreversible inhibitors of monoamine oxidase A, whose use as antidepressants is now restricted because of the severity of their side-effects. These include interactions with other drugs (e.g. ephedrine, phenylephrine) and with foods containing tyramine (e.g. cheese) to produce a sudden and dangerous increase in blood pressure. Moclobemide is a reversible inhibitor of monoamine oxidase A (RIMA), with less severe side-effects. See also selegiline.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.