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May 1978

Clinical Pharmacology of Phenelzine

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology (Dr Robinson), Psychiatry (Drs Nies, Ravaris, Ives), and Epidemiology (Ms Bartlett), University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978;35(5):629-635. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1978.01770290111010

• There is renewed interest in the clinical pharmacology of phenelzine sulfate and other monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. Newer clinical and analytic techniques recently have been applied to investigations of this class of drugs in man. The results show that drugs such as phenelzine are effective in nonendogenous depression and phobic disorders. Clinical response to phenelzine is related to platelet MAO inhibition and dosage per unit body weight. High percent MAO inhibition in platelets at two weeks is associated with greater improvement after a six-week course of treatment. Our data show that a safe, effective phenelzine dose is 1 mg/kg body weight per day. These results have delineated the pharmacologic and therapeutic effects of phenelzine and support a continuing role for MAO inhibitors in psychopharmacology.