Active Ingredients

Moclobemide – Effect, Application & Risks

Moclobemide

Moclobemide is an antidepressant from the group of MAO inhibitors (monoamine oxidase inhibitors). It is used in the treatment of depressive disorders (phases of major depression). Moclobemide is also used for anxiety disorders and psychoses .

What is moclobemide?

Moclobemide is what is known as a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor. It is one of the antidepressants and is primarily prescribed for depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and psychoses.

It is an activating, mood-enhancing and invigorating antidepressant available in the form of film-coated tablets. These need to be taken two to three times a day after meals.

Pharmacological effect on body & organs

Depression usually manifests itself in a negative mood and lack of drive. It is believed that a lack of monoamines (e.g. serotonin , norepinephrine ) in the synaptic cleft arises due to decreased production of the neurotransmitters . In addition, altered expressivity at their receptors or binding to them can lead to a deficiency symptom.

The aim of therapy with antidepressants is to increase the amount of monoamines. An increase in concentration is only possible by inhibiting monoamine oxidase A ( an enzyme in the outer mitochondrial membrane at the nerve endings of the synaptic nervous system). This has the task of breaking down monoamines.

Moclobemide inhibits monoamine oxidase. Since the active ingredient only inhibits monoamine oxidase A but not monoamine oxidase B, there are fewer side effects and interactions with other medications.

Medicinal Application & Use for Treatment & Prevention

Moclobemide is used for severe depression (so-called major depression), for anxiety disorders and psychoses. Since it increases drive, it is also used in so-called “inhibited” depressions. They are characterized by a particularly severely inhibited drive, listlessness and a tormenting inner restlessness . It is also used when other antidepressants are not effective or not effective enough.

The first improvements can already be felt after a treatment period of one week, but the dose should not be increased in the first week of therapy. The treatment usually lasts between 4 and 6 weeks, this is the only way to assess the effect of moclobemide.

It should then be taken for 4 to 6 months even in a symptom-free period. The treatment is then ended by gradually reducing the dose.

Risks & side effects

Even if moclobemide – compared to other antidepressants – has fewer side effects and interactions, these cannot be ruled out. Typical side effects of moclobemide include sleep disorders , headache , dry mouth , nausea and vomiting , diarrhea or constipation , dizziness (due to low blood pressure ), irritability , anxiety, nervousness , abnormal sensations (e.g. tingling ), rash , skin reactions (e.g.skin redness , itching ), edema , confusion , visual disturbances , taste disturbances , decreased appetite , suicidal thoughts and behavior, delusions or even galactorrhea (a secretion from the chest).

The side effects don’t have to happen to everyone. They can usually be observed in the first few weeks of treatment and resolve as therapy continues. After the end of treatment, withdrawal symptoms can also occur as a side effect, which is why the medication is always withdrawn gradually.

Interactions can also occur if several medications are taken at the same time. Both the effect and side effects can change as a result. The factors for the emergence of interactions are very different.

Interactions can also occur with moclobemide when ingesting foods containing tyramine (e.g. cheese, white beans, red wine). However, these are so minor that no special diet is necessary. Excessive consumption of such foods should be avoided.

If opioid painkillers (e.g. tramadol , pethidine ) are taken at the same time, their effect is increased by moclobemide, which is why the drugs must not be used at the same time. Taking other antidepressants at the same time is also not allowed, as this can lead to life-threatening serotonin syndrome .

Medicines for migraines (e.g. triptans ) and the anxiolytic drug buspirone can lead to a dangerous increase in blood pressure if taken at the same time and must also not be taken together with moclobemide.

The effect of moclobemide is increased when alpha – sympathomimetics are taken at the same time, as is the use of the gastric acid-inhibiting active ingredient cimetidine . In the case of the latter, a reduction in the moclobemide dose is sufficient; regular medical monitoring is required when taking alpha-sympathomimetics (e.g. ephedrine ).

In certain circumstances, moclobemide must not be used. This is not only the case when certain medications are taken at the same time, but also in the case of hypersensitivity to the active substance, acute confusional states, hyperthyroidism and a tumor of the adrenal cortex . Children under the age of 18 must also not be treated with moclobemide.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.