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Monoamine oxidase inhibitors

A drug may be classified by the chemical type of the active ingredient or by the way it is used to treat a particular condition. Each drug can be classified into one or more drug classes.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAO inhibitors) inhibit one or both forms of the enzyme monoamine oxidase and prevent the breakdown of monoamine oxidase neurotransmitters.

The substrate for MAO-A enzyme is serotonin, melatonin, epinephrine and norepinephrine and for MAO-B is phenylethylene. Dopamine is a substrate for both the isoforms A and B.

Inhibition of Type A monoamine oxidase exerts a reversible or irreversible antidepressant effect. Inhibition of both Type A and B monoamine oxidase treats depression and anxiety.

The use of monoamine oxidase inhibitors is restricted now due to the severity of their interactions with other drugs and their adverse effects.

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See also...

Medical conditions associated with monoamine oxidase inhibitors: