Anxiety Disorders

Frequently Asked Questions

24. What other types of antidepressants can help anxiety disorders?

For some people, older classes of antidepressants such as tricyclics and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) may be a better choice.

People taking MAOIs must follow strict food and medicine guidelines to avoid potentially serious interactions. They must avoid substances that contain high levels of the chemical tyramine which is found in many cheeses, wines, and pickles and in some medications including decongestants.

MAOIs interact with tyramine in a way that may cause a sharp rise in blood pressure, possibly leading to a stroke. If you are taking an MAOI, your doctor should give you a complete list of foods, medicines, and substances to avoid.