PDR Health


What is Parnate?

Parnate (tranylcypromine) is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). MAOIs are used as antidepressants. They work by preventing the breakdown of certain natural substances in your body (such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin), which helps to improve mood.

Parnate is used to treat major depressive disorder.

Parnate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Health Benefits

Parnate can be used to treat major depressive disorder. It works by preventing the breakdown of certain natural substances in your body (such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin), which helps to improve mood.

Side Effects

The most common side effects of Parnate include:

upset stomach,







dry mouth, or


rare but serious side effects include:




panic attacks,

trouble sleeping (insomnia),

acting on dangerous impulses,

extreme elation or happiness (mania),

hallucinations (seeing things that are not there), or

delusions (believing things that are not true).

If you experience any of these rare but serious side effects, seek medical attention immediately.

Parnate may also cause other less common side effects. Contact your doctor if you experience any unusual or bothersome side effect.

Dosage and Administration

Parnate is available in tablet form. It is usually taken once or twice a day, with or without food. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor will start you on a low dose of Parnate and gradually increase your dosage. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.

Do not take more or less Parnate than prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop taking Parnate abruptly, as this can cause serious side effects. If you need to stop taking Parnate, your doctor will gradually decrease your dosage to avoid any withdrawal symptoms.


Parnate can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, herbs, or vitamins you are taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval.

A product that may interact with this drug is:


Other medications can affect the removal of tranylcypromine from your body, which may affect how tranylcypromine works. Examples include azole antifungals such as ketoconazole, macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin, rifamycins such as rifampin, drugs used to treat seizures such as carbamazepine, phenytoin, or barbiturates such as phenobarbital, St. John’s wort, among others.

Mechanism of Action

Parnate works by preventing the breakdown of certain natural substances in your body (such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin), which helps to improve mood.


Tranylcypromine is rapidly and completely absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract after oral administration. The bioavailability of tranylcypromine is variable, but is thought to be approximately 50%. Tranylcypromine is widely distributed in the body and crosses the blood-brain barrier. Tranylcypromine is metabolized in the liver by CYP2C19 and other enzymes, and is excreted in the urine. Tranylcypromine has a half-life of approximately 3 hours.

Alternatives to Parnate

There are many other drugs available to treat depression. Some may be better suited for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Parnate, talk with your doctor about other options.

Examples of other drugs that are used to treat depression include:

selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), and sertraline (Zoloft);

norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs), such as bupropion (Wellbutrin, Aplenzin, Forfivo XL);

tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), such as amitriptyline, desipramine (Norpramin), imipramine (Tofranil), and nortriptyline (Pamelor); and

monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate).