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Neurotoxicology. 2004 Jan;25(1-2):215-21.

Clinical pharmacology of MAO inhibitors: safety and future.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Showa University Karasuyama Hospital, 6-11-11 Kitakarasuyama, Setagaya, Tokyo 157-8577, Japan.


In this article, we review the clinical pharmacology of monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Now, MAOIs are used for the treatment of depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. The selective monoamine oxidase-B inhibitor selegiline and the selective and reversible inhibitor of monoamine oxidase-A (RIMA) moclobemide are free from the hypertensive crisis, the so-called "cheese effect." Therefore, selective MAO-B inhibitors and RIMAs hold promise as safer alternatives to classical MAOIs. It is clear that much remains to be investigated with regard to the clinical pharmacology of MAOIs. It seems obvious that a greater understanding of the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of MAOIs could result in improved treatment of the patients in the future.

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