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Diet for People Taking Nardil

By Kelli Cooper ; Updated July 18, 2017

Nardil is a MAO-inhibitor, a type of drug that is used to treat depression and possibly other conditions, such as migraines. Using this medication calls for making certain changes to your diet to prevent potentially serious complications. If you have any questions about what you should and should not consume while using Nardil, do not hesitate to contact your physician.

Tyramine and MAO-Inhibitors

While using Nardil, you must limit your intake of foods and beverages high in tyramine. This medication blocks the production of the enzyme that helps prevent excess levels from building up in the body. Too much tyramine in your system can lead to severe hypertension that increases your risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

Tyramine-Rich Foods and Drinks

Avoid products that have been pickled, fermented, aged, dried, salted or smoked. Examples include salami, pepperoni, liverwurst, sauerkraut, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, tofu, tempeh, natto and miso. Aged cheeses such as brick, provolone, mozzarella, blue cheese, Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, brick cheese and Stilton cheese are also high in tyramine. Other problem items include foods made with yeast, all forms of alcohol and fava beans.

Other Considerations for Tyramine

Besides limiting foods that naturally contain tyramine, you must avoid eating food that may be spoiled or is no longer fresh as tyramine builds up as the food ages. The National Headache Foundation recommends eating all leftovers within a couple of days. If you do not think you will eat something within this time period, freeze it or trash it. Steer clear of spoiled foods.

Other Considerations advises you to limit caffeine intake while using Nardil. Besides the need to limit alcohol due to tyramine content, it is also necessary to prevent excessive drowsiness. Nardil may cause constipation. You can reduce this effect by eating a fiber-rich diet and drinking plenty of fluids.

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