Nardil (phenelzine) [MAOI] - Social Anxiety Forum

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post #1 of 91 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Nardil (phenelzine) [MAOI]


Nardil is classified as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). Although it is an older antidepressant and often not commonly prescribed anymore, some scientific studies conclude that it has the potential to be the most effective drug for SAD and Social Phobia. It affects both dopamine and serotonin levels, as well as GABA dysfunction in order to uniquely address all potentially problematic areas that are usually influencing the degree of severity of the social anxiety.

For these reasons, many scientists believe that Nardil and other MAOIs should be prescribed for SAD rather newer antidepressants, despite the diet limitations and risk of high blood pressure that accompanies them.

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post #2 of 91 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Completely cured


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Posted by rocknroll714
Social Anxiety Background
Light to moderate social anxiety disorder for several years. Experimentation with various "illicit" drugs for anxiolytic purposes during that time. Nardil was the first prescription antidepressant I ever tried.

Other Treatments
Mixed with alcohol is a ridiculous combination. The very concepts of negativity and anxiety are unfathomable, for me at least. Marked reduction in hangover symptoms as well.

Treatment Experience
Nardil removed all my anxiety beautifully and made me immune to any sort of depressive feelings whatsoever. It also did wonders for my motivation and drive in general. I found that the side effects were exaggerated and the food restrictions didn't really mean anything. I ate whatever I wanted and I was fine.

WHOOO NARDIL FOR THE WIN!!
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post #3 of 91 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Posted by jakeforpresident
Social Anxiety Background
Crippling SA with depression

Other Treatments
A lot

Treatment Experience
This medication has few side effects and is largely considered scary because it is old. Good for anxiety and depression but no better than an SSRI with Wellbutrin.

Gave me daily headaches.
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post #4 of 91 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Not recommended


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Posted by oceanside
Treatment Experience
I was on this medication a few years ago because I read that it was the best antidepressant out there for social anxiety. It didn't help with my anxiety. It did, however, keep me up all night long. Also, the food restrictions that go along with the medication are a pain. Certain foods will raise your blood pressure and have to be avoided. Also, I remember having some sexual side effects.
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post #5 of 91 (permalink) Old 07-04-2010, 12:33 PM
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Nardil is great; i've been on and off it a few times, and it always works in the end. Puts SA/dep in full remission. most of the side effects remit after a few months.
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post #6 of 91 (permalink) Old 07-04-2010, 06:49 PM
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I restarted nardil after about a year off it. Taking 60mg now for about 3 weeks. It does help me no doubt about it, makes me want to go out and see people and be social. Motivation to get a job is back up and keen to get back into things. Does not cure me completely like it does for some, but I do feel a lot better on it.

Also strangely enough it cures a lot of my chemical sensitivities, particularly airborne chemicals that would have bothered me a lot before. Makes me crave cigarettes to no end though. Also kills my libido to a great extent, and my appetite.
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post #7 of 91 (permalink) Old 07-08-2010, 01:13 PM
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About a week after starting nardil i felt "cured" of SA. this lasted for about a week and was wonderful. However, im not sure if my body got use to it or what but one day it just stopped working, and i started having really bad anxiety. The anxiety i experienced didnt just occur in social situations either. i up'd the dosage and feel like its starting to work again but in a different way. i feel almost drunk or drugged. my perception is out of whack.
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post #8 of 91 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 08:54 PM
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Nardil experience


I've been taking Nardil for more than ten years now, with very good results. I recently increased the dose from 60 to 75 mg./day.

I first had panic attacks when I was 17--many years ago now. Unfortunately, as often happens, my depression and social fears increased. And these remained problems long after the panic attacks had disappeared.

The Nardil took almost two months to have a noticeable effect on me. I don't notice any side effects, but I do notice that it's caused me to gain weight. It seems to stimulate my appetite, but I fight that by working out 2-3 times a week.

I think the food interaction danger has been exaggerated--but maybe that's just me. I've often eaten pizza and all sorts of things on the forbidden list, but I don't go crazy with it. And I avoid certain known problem foods like anchovies, sauerkraut, blue cheese, etc. whenever possible. It's my understanding that if you're getting in trouble, you'll be warned by a headache.

At higher doses, I sometimes seem to become a little aggressive, but more in the sense of being unwilling to take much stuff from people, rather than starting trouble with anyone.

I feel like the Nardil has repaired the damage the problems I had did to my self-confidence, at least enough to let me get into work and dating situations that have tended to reinforce it.
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post #9 of 91 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 01:55 PM
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I tried Nardil for 8 months. My last dose increase was up to 90 mg/day.

If i had to say one thing about Nardil is
It does work.
For only a few months, then poops out. Even increasing the dose to 90, won't change the effects.

Nardil was reformulated in 2003, if you read the reviews everyone who took it prior to 2003, the drug stopped working. Pfizer obviously changed the drug dramatically. It did work for me the first few months, then for the next few, all my old social anxiety symptoms came back.

Don't waste your time. <
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post #10 of 91 (permalink) Old 04-15-2011, 12:22 AM
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I have been on every antidepressant under the sun and Nardil is the only one that worked for me. When I took it the first time 5 years ago it was like a miracle drug. I was able to go back to school and had a 4.0 GPA. After 4 months however, it started to not work as well and my legs and feet swelled terribly. I had to go off of it because the swelling was so bad I could not walk. I have tried it several times since, but not only has it not worked as well, but the swelling comes back. Has anyone else on Nardil had trouble with swelling?

Overall, I think if you have tried everything else and you are willing to follow all instructions that are required for taking Nardil, it can be a terrific drug. My doctor has seen many patients benefit greatly from it. Like I said, the first time I tried it I felt so good and could function and socialize. It was great
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post #11 of 91 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 04:07 PM
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After quite a few SSRIs (with no success) and benzos (with moderate success), I'm going to start Nardil next week. I was a little scared about the food interactions but after reading quite a few testimonials online and talking to a friend who is on the drug, I think the dangers are greatly exaggerated. That said, I'm going to me be very cautions at first. I guess I'm more concerned about the drug only easing anxiety and depression for a short period of time. I've experienced the same thing with benzos, but that's obviously due to tolerance. I'm not sure if tolerance place a part with MAOIs--or any anti-depressant, for that matter--but I guess everybody is different.

I'll post my experiences/reviews after I've been on the drug for a few months. My psychiatrist said that it should actually start working faster than Lexapro. But I don't believe this. I thought the older anti-depressants took months to start working?

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My CBT log: http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...es-log-102328/
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post #12 of 91 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 01:25 PM
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Wondering


I took Nardil from 1978-1997 with good results; then I went off it and took effexor 37.5 until about 2 years ago. stopped the effexor due to leg cramps and elevated blood pressure.

I am considering taking Nardil again as I have been having some issues of feeling 'not right'. I have had many losses in my life recently, and this is a bit of a trigger for me.

I am concerned that Nardil could cause or exacerbate my muscle pain issues - leg cramps. I would love to have some replies. Thanks to all.
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post #13 of 91 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 12:10 PM
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post #14 of 91 (permalink) Old 08-19-2012, 11:28 PM
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Been on nardil almost 10 years. Worked at the beginning using only two pills, now I have to take a hell of alot more. When I first began, it was great, but the side effects was hell too (when I first started, not so much anymore) these where:

1. Dizzyness on standing/ getting up from lying down
2. Muscle weakness, trying to lift things- your arms become tied and sore fast.
3. Insomnia
4. Loss of appetite intially, then came back in full force (namely sweet cravings)
5. Dry mouth and eyes
6. Stoned feeling sometimes, even looked stoned due to red sleepy half closed eyes
7. Fatigue
8. Bad short term memory
9. Bloated
10. Being puffed out fast doing most excersizes, easily exhausted

These sides effects are all gone. after about 3 months, apart from dry mouth/eyes. (I always have water with me as it makes me really thirsty.

Coming off it for a few months when it poops out and going back on it again later seems to make it work again.

Coming off it abruptly:

1. Return of SAD
2. Depression
3. Sleepiness
4. Vivid nightmares
5. Weightloss. Bloatedness goes away, appetite went back to normal (which was good, as it was gained by nardil's sweet cravings in the 1st place - 2-3 kilos).
6. Twitches/ jumping on relaxing or sleeping.

Pros:
1. SAD goes away
2. Depression goes away
3. Love interacting with others
4. Motivated
5. Happy giddy feeling

What happened when I ate stuff from the "NO NO" list - Also what happens if you OD:

1. REALLY dry mouth
2. Trouble breathing
3. Red blotchy skin on chest, neck
4. Tongue swelling
5. Worst migraine of your life- most painful. thing.ever.
6. Extreme dizzyness
7. Lips and hands and feet went numb and pins and needles through out
8. Unable to walk without seeing black and passing out
9. A stay in the hospital
(Basically feel like your going to die)

Yes, you can die from it, however it's rare. I was lucky. I'm immune to all this now since I've been on it for almost a decade. Overall, the benefits outweighed the risks.

Last edited by helena AU; 08-19-2012 at 11:37 PM. Reason: typos. add more
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post #15 of 91 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 04:26 PM
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Hi. I've had Social Anxiety Disorder pretty much my entire life, although I was diagnosed in my mid-twenties. I have a very hard time in competitive or potentially hostile or confrontational work environments. Grade school was hard, so hard in fact that I skipped out whenever I could and dropped out altogether in grade 10. I spent many of the following years in isolation. I did manage get a university degree later on but did not engage in group work or participate in college life in general. I have quit most of my jobs due to stress/anxiety related to SAD and have been fired a couple of times.

I have not tried much in the way of meds. I've been on Prozac, Wellbutrin, and Paxil. It is my personal opinion that these anti-depressants do nothing or very little for Social Anxiety.

Nardil is the real deal. That is, it works. I was on 45 mg it for three years. Most of the side-effects disappear over time, with the sexual side-effects being more persistent. Keeping an erection and having an orgasm were difficult but not impossible. Sex overall just wasn't that great unfortunately. I also gained about 15 lbs on Nardil, but that's fairly typical with anti-depressants I suppose. I also experienced significant light-headedness when standing up. The main thing here is that I found the supposed dangers to be exaggerated. I pretty much ate anything I wanted except aged cheeses (I mainly stuck to farmer's cheese) and meats (sausage, pepperoni, etc). I don't drink, so I can't really comment in that regard.

Start slow. My pdoc put me on a fairly high dose from the outset and titrated rather quickly. Basically, I couldn't urinate or defecate at first, which was very uncomfortable and alarming. You don't want to end up in that situation, so again, start slow. These side effects, however, do disappear over time (with the exception of the sexual side effects).

The major caveat for me was that Nardil triggered substantial hypomania, which eventually got me a rapid-cycling Bipolar II diagnosis. It snuck up on me and got worse over time. I didn't even realize it was the Nardil at first. As much as I hate to say it, if you suffer from even mild mood instability, Nardil may be out of the question for you. Bipolar disorder simply isn't acceptable and will likely wreak more havoc on your relationships than your SAD did. Nardil is a powerful anti-depressant, meaning that I didn't get depressed all that often, but the euphoric and irritable states that tend to accompany Bipolar proved unmanageable.

A minor caveat is that Nardil's effectiveness diminished somewhat over time, although it never became completely ineffective for me. To put it another way, I WOULD ABSOLUTELY STILL BE ON THIS DRUG IF NOT FOR THE HYPOMANIA.

Long story short: It works if you can work past the initial onset of negative side-effects, don't mind having an impaired sex life, and aren't susceptible to hypomania. I know its very hard to get this drug from a doc or pdoc, particularly in the US, but I also know that IT DOES WORK and that the SAD community needs to work to create awareness for this drug so that sufferers can at least have the option of trying it out.
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post #16 of 91 (permalink) Old 08-26-2012, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arkwelder View Post
Hi. I've had Social Anxiety Disorder pretty much my entire life, although I was diagnosed in my mid-twenties. I have a very hard time in competitive or potentially hostile or confrontational work environments. Grade school was hard, so hard in fact that I skipped out whenever I could and dropped out altogether in grade 10. I spent many of the following years in isolation. I did manage get a university degree later on but did not engage in group work or participate in college life in general. I have quit most of my jobs due to stress/anxiety related to SAD and have been fired a couple of times.

I have not tried much in the way of meds. I've been on Prozac, Wellbutrin, and Paxil. It is my personal opinion that these anti-depressants do nothing or very little for Social Anxiety.

Nardil is the real deal. That is, it works. I was on 45 mg it for three years. Most of the side-effects disappear over time, with the sexual side-effects being more persistent. Keeping an erection and having an orgasm were difficult but not impossible. Sex overall just wasn't that great unfortunately. I also gained about 15 lbs on Nardil, but that's fairly typical with anti-depressants I suppose. I also experienced significant light-headedness when standing up. The main thing here is that I found the supposed dangers to be exaggerated. I pretty much ate anything I wanted except aged cheeses (I mainly stuck to farmer's cheese) and meats (sausage, pepperoni, etc). I don't drink, so I can't really comment in that regard.

Start slow. My pdoc put me on a fairly high dose from the outset and titrated rather quickly. Basically, I couldn't urinate or defecate at first, which was very uncomfortable and alarming. You don't want to end up in that situation, so again, start slow. These side effects, however, do disappear over time (with the exception of the sexual side effects).

The major caveat for me was that Nardil triggered substantial hypomania, which eventually got me a rapid-cycling Bipolar II diagnosis. It snuck up on me and got worse over time. I didn't even realize it was the Nardil at first. As much as I hate to say it, if you suffer from even mild mood instability, Nardil may be out of the question for you. Bipolar disorder simply isn't acceptable and will likely wreak more havoc on your relationships than your SAD did. Nardil is a powerful anti-depressant, meaning that I didn't get depressed all that often, but the euphoric and irritable states that tend to accompany Bipolar proved unmanageable.

A minor caveat is that Nardil's effectiveness diminished somewhat over time, although it never became completely ineffective for me. To put it another way, I WOULD ABSOLUTELY STILL BE ON THIS DRUG IF NOT FOR THE HYPOMANIA.

Long story short: It works if you can work past the initial onset of negative side-effects, don't mind having an impaired sex life, and aren't susceptible to hypomania. I know its very hard to get this drug from a doc or pdoc, particularly in the US, but I also know that IT DOES WORK and that the SAD community needs to work to create awareness for this drug so that sufferers can at least have the option of trying it out.
Sorry to hear that hypomania drove you off an otherwise very effective med, did you ever try augmenting it with a mood stabilizer?
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post #17 of 91 (permalink) Old 08-26-2012, 01:41 AM
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How did nardil trigger hypomania, arkwelder? Also, did you feel okay not enjoying sex much, on it?

I also wonder what causes swelling for some people.


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post #18 of 91 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 02:09 AM
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This sounds interesting. Does it really put your SA and depression into full remission? I don't like the idea of the diet restrictions but if it really works this well then I am willing to give it a try.
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post #19 of 91 (permalink) Old 10-04-2012, 05:28 AM
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im starting nardil monday, im off prozac with a week & i hope its safe to sart an maoi so soon, i pray to god this med works as im running out of options
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post #20 of 91 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by hope4all View Post
im starting nardil monday, im off prozac with a week & i hope its safe to sart an maoi so soon, i pray to god this med works as im running out of options
You probably know this already, just making sure. Fluoxetine has a metabolite(Norfluoxetine) that takes a longer then usual time to leave the body. But if your doctor knows this stuff then its no problem. Just be careful.
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