Hi everybody, I'm new to the SAS forum, but I did regularly read people's comments and discussions here a couple of years back, particularly on this medication forum. I picked up much information and knowledge from people's personal experiences posted here about Nardil, and would now like to now share a part of my experience with Nardil after 2 years of taking it.
Please do feel free to ask any questions or let me know how your experience has been similar or different.
I'm from the UK but despite a nearly zero-MAOI policy in this country, I did manage to get Nardil Prescribed to me but it was under quite rare circumstances:
My Doctor had previously prescribed me SSRIs and Tricyclics but to no effect and it seemed there was very little chance that she would prescribe me something like MAOIs if I asked her to do so; She didn't take my complaints of SA seriously and was very aloof to any suggestions I would make.
However, after I'd read so many "wonder stories" about Nardil on social anxiety forums and sites, I decided it was worth a try to convince her that this medication was likely to work for me, so I prepared a wealth of internet-researched paperwork and references about Nardil to bring with me to help persuade her to prescribe it to me.
Finally when I arrived for my appointment I ended up seeing a duty Doctor because my actual Doctor was away on her annual vacation. the replacement doctor was covering her for the entire summer period and I could see straight away that she was very young and seemed to be a little inexperienced. I pitched her with the "Nardil Proposal" all the same. (One of the main things I took specific attention to was stressing that I fully understood the importance of following a strict tyramine-free diet, which I think gave her confidence that I was not going to be a high risk to her).
After looking in her big medical book (that all UK doctors have) she hesitantly said OK and filled out a prescription for me.
So I'm pretty sure that the main reasons for me managing to get prescribed Nardil was due to:
1) The inexperience of the replacement duty Doctor
2) Making a very good case based on research that I had printed from the internet as to the effectiveness of Nardil for SA - and showed it to her as proof
3) I explained that I knew all the implications and food constraints of taking an MAOI and would 100% strictly adhere to them
I took them for two years and only recently stopped in September 2010. It definitely wasn't a miracle drug for my social-anxiety. It did help inadvertently, but it didn't eliminate most of my SA symptoms. However it did really help me in numerous other ways that other meds have never came close to.
Here a few of my personal pros and cons with 2 years of Nardil:
- Actually made me feel happy for the first time in many years
- Cleared up a huge amount of depression like no other med has done before or since
- Made me feel extremely motivated at work and home like I hadn't felt in years
- Because of the above effects, it had a very positive impact on my social life and general wellbeing hence reducing symptoms of SA
- So potent that I could actually feel it hit me shortly after taking it (especially with a hot drink like tea which is what I always ended up doing)
- I feel that the food and drink contraindications are HUGELY overstated and I can confirm that after 3 months of being overly paranoid about what I ate, I completely disregarded this. I ate everything and anything including strong chesses, exotic French dishes & wines and never had any negative effects whatsoever. I even (stupidly) went out on an all-night binge, drinking and doing a substantial amount of cocaine (I know it was stupid and would definitely NOT recommend it while on MAOIs) but it still had no adverse effect on me or present any symptoms of a Hypertensive crisis.
However I should note that I did feel what I believe to be the onset of a Hypertensive Crisis on one occasion when I had a Mojito which had rum in it, so it's definitely wise to stay away from dark spirits like rum and obviously the extremely moulded foods like blue cheese.
- It didn't eradicate most of the symptoms of SA. For example: Problems of public speaking or job interviews it would not help anxiety at all
- In some cases (particularly after taking the drug in the afternoon for some reason) I would have problems with stringing sentences together even more than usual and jumble up words much more often
- In many cases it would actually make my brain and thoughts spin faster which made me even more nervous and jittery
- In nervous situations it would make me overheat and sweat alot - especially on my face and forehead. This became a really big problem for me.
- It doesn't take long to build up a tolerance, and those great effects I felt for the first 6 months with 1 x 15mg tablets, then start to take 2 x 15mg tablets in one go to make you feel that. (I started at 45mg per day and eventually got to 90mg per day)
- Urinating - esp. in public toilets and at work
- Once my tolerance had built up and I couldn't get any higher doses prescribed, I eventually had to go without taking it for a few days at a time (sometimes a week) to lower my tolerance and to ration my supplies.
- Eventually after 2 years, I ended up with the same problems I had before taking Nardil and had barely any effect on me at all.
I am now no longer taking Nardil (since September) and have been unemployed since around that time also. I find it exceptionally hard to get motivated and am very depressed. I am thinking about starting them again and I know my tolerance would be way down now (still have a whole unopened pack in my fridge!) but I also want to see what it would feel like going back to work without being on medication.
Any comments would be much appreciated