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Tranylcypromine Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to tranylcypromine: oral tablet

As well as its needed effects, tranylcypromine may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

Major Side Effects

If any of the following side effects occur while taking tranylcypromine, check with your doctor immediately:

Incidence not known:
  • Absence of or decrease in body movement
  • actions that are out of control
  • agitation
  • anxiety
  • black, tarry stools
  • bleeding gums
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • coma
  • confusion
  • confusion about identity, place, and time
  • cough or hoarseness
  • dark urine
  • decrease in frequency of urination
  • decrease in urine volume
  • depression
  • difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  • fever
  • fever with or without chills
  • general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • headache
  • hostility
  • hyperventilation
  • increased need to urinate
  • irregular heartbeats
  • irritability
  • lethargy
  • light-colored stools
  • longer than usual time to ejaculation of semen
  • loss of bladder control
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle twitching
  • nausea and vomiting
  • nervousness
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pale skin
  • passing urine more often
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • rapid weight gain
  • restlessness
  • seizures
  • shakiness and unsteady walk
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • stupor
  • sudden jerky movements of the body
  • swelling
  • swelling of the face, ankles, or hands
  • swollen glands
  • talking, feeling, and acting with excitement
  • trouble with sleeping
  • troubled breathing with exertion
  • unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • upper right abdominal pain
  • yellow eyes and skin

Minor Side Effects

Some tranylcypromine side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

Incidence not known:
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • blurred vision
  • constipation
  • continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
  • decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • diarrhea
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • hair loss or thinning of the hair
  • hearing loss
  • hives or welts
  • inability to have or keep an erection
  • itching
  • loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • loss of appetite
  • memory loss
  • muscle spasm
  • redness of the skin
  • skin rash
  • sleeplessness
  • unable to sleep
  • weakness
  • weight loss

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to tranylcypromine: oral tablet


Hypertensive crisis (sometimes fatal) is the most important reaction associated with tranylcypromine therapy and is characterized by some or all of the following symptoms: occipital headache that may radiate frontally, palpitation, neck stiffness or soreness, nausea or vomiting, sweating (sometimes with fever and sometimes with cold, clammy skin), pupil dilatation, photophobia, tachycardia or bradycardia, and constricting chest pain. Hypertensive crises may be precipitated by concomitant administration of sympathomimetic drugs or related compounds, other monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or dibenzazepine-related entities. Ingestion of foods with a high concentration of tyramine may also cause a hypertensive crisis. Blood pressure should be monitored closely in all patients to detect any pressor response. Patients should be observed frequently, as blood pressure readings should not be relied upon completely. Therapy should be discontinued immediately upon the occurrence of palpitation or frequent headaches, as these signs may be prodromal of a hypertensive crisis.[Ref]

Cardiovascular side effects have included hypertensive crisis, postural hypotension, tachycardia, palpitations, and edema. Intracranial bleeding, which can be fatal, has been reported with the paradoxical increase in blood pressure.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included weakness, drowsiness, tinnitus, numbness, paresthesia, headache without blood pressure elevation, insomnia, dizziness, orthostatic dysregulation, syncope, restlessness, and arterial hypertonia (possibly due to failure in low-tyramine diet). Lowering the dosage may relieve some of these effects. Ataxia, confusion, disorientation, memory loss, and akinesia have been reported during postmarketing experience.[Ref]


Psychiatric side effects have included anxiety, agitation, suicidality, and manic symptoms. Some of these effects may be due to overstimulation or excessive therapeutic action and may be relieved by lowering the dosage.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea, dry mouth, diarrhea, abdominal pain, anorexia, and constipation. Lowering the dosage may relieve some of these effects. Fissuring in corner of mouth has been reported during postmarketing experience.[Ref]


Endocrine side effects have included hypoglycemic episodes and impaired water excretion compatible with the syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone (SIADH).[Ref]


Genitourinary side effects have included urinary retention, impotence, and retarded ejaculation. Urinary frequency and urinary incontinence have been reported during postmarketing experience.[Ref]


Hematologic side effects have included anemia, leukopenia, agranulocytosis, and thrombocytopenia.[Ref]


Hepatic side effects have rarely included hepatitis and abnormal liver enzymes.[Ref]


Musculoskeletal side effects have included muscle spasms, myoclonic jerks, and tremors.[Ref]


Other side effects have included chills.


Ocular side effects have included blurred vision.[Ref]


Dermatologic side effects have rarely included skin rash and alopecia. Localized scleroderma, cystic acne flare-up, and urticaria have been reported during postmarketing experience.[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Parnate (tranylcypromine)." SmithKline Beecham, Philadelphia, PA.

2. Adli M, Pilhatsch M, Bauer M, et al. "Safety of high-intensity treatment with the irreversible monoamine oxidase inhibitor tranylcypromine in patients with treatment-resistant depression." Pharmacopsychiatry 41 (2008): 252-7

It is possible that some side effects of tranylcypromine may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.