What foods should be avoided when prescribing MAOIs and how can patients recover from major depressive disorder?

Updated: Aug 06, 2020
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Dietary restrictions are necessary only when prescribing monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Foods high in tyramine, which can produce a hypertensive crisis in the presence of MAOIs, should be avoided. These foods include the following:

  • Aged cheese

  • Aged chicken or beef liver

  • Air-dried sausage and similar meats

  • Avocados

  • Beer and wine (in particular, red wine)

  • Canned figs

  • Caviar

  • Fava beans

  • Meat tenderizer

  • Overripe fruit

  • Pickled or cured meat or fish

  • Raisins

  • Sauerkraut

  • Shrimp paste

  • Sour cream

  • Soy sauce

  • Yeast extracts

Physical activity and exercise contribute to recovery from major depressive disorder. Patients should be counseled regarding stress reduction.

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