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Clinical Notes
May 25, 1964

Pargyline, Cheese, and Acute Hypertension

Author Affiliations

Palo Alto, Calif

From the Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, and the Medical Service, Veterans Administration Hospital.

JAMA. 1964;188(8):754-755. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060340052016

SEVERE hypertensive episodes, sometimes fatal, may occur after the eating of ripened cheeses by patients receiving potent monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. Most reported cases have been associated with the mood-elevator tranylcypromine sulfate. This is a report of a severe, paradoxical hypertensive crisis occurring in a patient taking the antihypertensive MAO inhibitor, pargyline hydrochloride, apparently precipitated by the ingestion of aged cheddar cheese.

Report of a Case  A 59-year-old white widow, a laboratory technician at night, sought medical assistance at 11 PM on Dec 30, 1963, because of generalized pounding headache, profuse sweating, weakness, tremulousness, and anxiety. She had a long history of hypertension which was first noted in 1947 during routine blood pressure evaluation for a blood donation. From 1947 to 1959 she had no symptoms related to the hypertension and she received no antihypertensive medication. While she was working for a physician in 1959 her blood pressure was found

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