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Nardil - Serious health issues after long term use

Posted by phil1909 on May 26, 2010, at 8:28:39

Hi everyone;

As i've recently started taking Nardil I was wondering if anyone is aware of any serious physical health issues resulting from long term use.

I've attached below a few 'very informative and eye opening' posts from other forums related to my question above.



Nardil and Serious Heart Arrythmias

Hi everyone,

I wanted to let you know that I had to get off the Nardil COLD TURKEY about 2 weeks ago -- after 30 years of taking it non-stop. I had started posting here again about a month ago, after a long absence, when I began feeling real sick for no reason at all -- esp. during the past couple of months. Also after seeing a new doctor who replaced my recently retired primary care physician from whom I had been getting my Nardil. As I mentioned before, this new doctor found my vital signs to be way off. My Blood pressure was close to 200/100. My EKG showed an arrythmia that had never been there before -- Continuous PVC's (pre-ventricular contractions). I had been feeling very short of breath and dizzy for a while where I was afraid I was going to faint right on the sidewalk everytime I left my house. I also felt palpitations & eventually started having chest pains. I also mentioned before that Walgreen's had given a refill that had expired a month earlier.

I knew this wasn't panic attacks, as I had never felt that bad before. The new dr. insisted I get a psychiatrist to help me get on some different meds, as I could no longer be on Nardil -- stating that it was jeopardizing my health. I was ready to fight him on this issue by finding an older psychiatrist willing to prescribe the Nardil. That is until I started noticing that I felt even worse soon after taking my next dose of Nardil. I couldn't wait the two weeks he gave me to see him again & took a cab to the Emergency Room of the nearest University hospital & trauma center -- as I was afraid that I might have been having a heart attack.

The doctors at the ER immediately admitted me to the coronary intensive care unit because my heart rate had dropped to a dangerously low level -- 35 beats per minute (where normal is between 60 and 90). They also said that I would need to have a pacemaker implanted in my chest to keep the rate at a normal level (since my heart didn't seem to be able to maintain it on its own). They also feared they might have to shock my heart if it went into fibrillation or I went into cardiac arrest.

The admitting physician also told me that I could no longer take the MAOI I had been on as it was affecting my heart rhythm. That I had what's called Heart Block, 2nd degree, Type 2, which is a serious electrical conduction defect. They explained to me that the nerves in the heart that conduct the electrical impulse to make it beat regularly were probably damaged. When I asked if the Nardil had done this, they responded that it was very possible, since it's known to cause arrythmias; and that it was a good thing I came in when I did.

I had to remain in the hospital for 4 days in ICU. I'm now in my 12th day off the Nardil and would never believe this was possible without going into some drug rehab. center or on a psychiatric ward. I also never imagined that any other medication could replace the Nardil for my combination of Panic Disorder with Atypical Depression. For my first two days in the hospital, I was being maintained on the 1 mg. of Ativan twice daily alone -- what I had been taking along with the Nardil, also BID. But by the end of the 48 hour period, I felt like I was climbing the walls & asked the nurse to call the doctor ASAP; that I felt I needed something stronger to control my severe anxiety -- Like Xanax. I remembered a friend of mine who also had to get off the Nardil was able to do it with the help of Xanax. Luckily, the dr. agreed and switched me to a low dose of Alprazolam.

Miraculously, it seemed to do the trick -- at least so far. Even my heart rate started going back up to 65 beats per minute -- which I could see on the heart monitor behind me to which I was attached 24/7. But my heart was still intermitently going in and out of block whenever I exerted myself -- like getting out of bed to get to use the bathroom a few feet away. I also got the light headedness & shortness of breath again. Also my blood pressure stubbornly remained high in spite of the water pills they put me on. They were afraid to give me anything stronger because I still had Nardil in my system. And I still had to get the pacemaker as they couldn't take a chance. I also had an angiogram that luckily showed clean arteries and no heart damage. So obviously, that wasn't the cause of the arrythmia.

I wanted to post this information to warn everyone that Nardil and probably other antidepressants, stimulants (and I'm sure many, many other medications), can cause permanent heart arrythmias. But with the Nardil, it's in fact stated under side effects. I also wanted to mention that Xanax seems to be helpful for many people with panic disorder to cope -- without needing to go to very high doses (which I was warned by many doctors could be addictive and cause a brand new set of problems). I'll keep you posted and hope that my symptoms continue to remain maintained on about 1 mg. of Xanax daily in divided doses.


Folks, we are on a drug that affects blood pressure. It also chews up and spits out vitamin B6 -- vital to nerve function!

Years on Nardil have affected us. Well, sorry for the rant -- I AM HAVING SIMILAR PROBLEMS Have come down from Nardil over the last 3 months because it just didn't work anymore.
Depression and Anxiety have increased. But, worse, Blood Pressure is up to 150/100 and I have been having trouble with shortness of breath. Was at the E.R. twice in the past month for feeling "strangely sick" --
NO, not a Panic Attack. Sick! They WILL try to tell you that you are "JUST" having a Panic Attack if they know you have a psych diagnosis... VERY DANGEROUS ASSUMPTION!

My heart rate fell to 45 and my blood oxygen level was 85%. Have been scared of the way I'm feeling. Really scared. Have been on Ativan 1mg as needed while I try to figure out what to do next. I will tell you that although I have a Psychiatrist and an Internist and NOW a Cardiologist, these physicians act like I am 3 different people, not "ONE HUMAN BEING!"

And of course NO ONE will take responsibility for anything that possibly could have caused the problem. (LIABILITY)

Nardil was originally a Blood Pressure Drug. It is a Hydrazine derivitive. Hydrazine is used as Rocket Fuel. Seriously. And for years my blood pressure was 110/70 with a pulse of 65. Now I'm having problems. New Nardil Formula?

I would appreciate any and all feedback about this. Has anyone else been experiencing heart/lung/blood pressure problems? Anyone get sick "off" Nardil and have to get back "on" it? Your input welcome.


Physical Problems

When Nardil was reformulated in the latter part of 2003, I began experiencing serious problems. My first panic attack occured at the age of five, somehow, I got married, finished college, had twins, worked a full time plus job with the Federal Government. In 1988, the panic attacks became so intense causing me to become agoraphobic and it was then I began taking Nardil.

I began 2004 being admitted to a pyschiatric hospital to be weaned off the NEW AND IMPROVED NARDIL. After ten days in the hospital I started taking Parnate, a high dose of Neurontin and Xanax which have worked 100% for me over the past six years.
Blood pressure has never been an issue for me since my BP has always run very low.

This past February, my internist moved to NJ and my first visit with her replacement proved to be scary. My EKG came back abormal, also, my thyroid was very underactive -- two things completely new. Off to the cardiologist who order an echo cardiogram and a nuclear stress test, which showed a possible blockage -- however, I didn't and still don't have any symptoms. Next was sent for an angiogram (not a pleasant experience) which showed a 60% blockage in my right heart artery. Medical guidelines only will insert a stent if the blockage is 70% or greater. The cardiologist (Dr. God) prescribed an ace inhibitor which is condrainticative when taking an MAOI -- his answer was oh, it's the lowest dose. My sister went through something similar (she has WHITE COAT SYNDROME) and was put on a low dose of BP medication -- six weeks later she ended up in the ICU for a bleeding blood vessel in her abdomen due to her BP dropping so low. Okay, my psychiatrist tells me not to take the medication, since it could be extremely serious. Now the internist informs me that I must come off the Parnate and the thyroid medication because these two medications are contraindicative if you have cardiovascular disease and hypothyroidism. He states that all MAOI's are included.Am now going for a third opinion -- the strange part is I feel fine.

My concern is that the majority of people here have all been on MAOI's for 20+ years -- and I am including Old and New Nardil. How do we know what the long term side effects of this class of medication have on us or any other drugs for that matter.
I highly doubt that any such tests or follow ups have been conducted.
Is it a conincidence that SuzyQ and myself find ourselves with cardiac problems -- doubt it.

In 1988 when Nardil was prescribed for me, it was not for depression, but for severe panic disorder. I have only gone through 2 depressive episodes in my entire life -- one when I lost a baby and when the Nardil was reformulated. I resent being treated like a hysterical female with pyschitric problems -- my issue is a chemical imbalance just like having diabetes.

I would encourage anyone who has been on any MAOI for a great length of time to have an EKG and a complete blood panel done. If your doctor disagrees then find one who will seriously listen to you -- the stakes are far too high, in my opinion, to be ignored.
Pfizer is in financial trouble and laying people off left and right. If long term use studies were ever performed, I highly doubt that we would have access to them.
Stopping the Parnate doesn't concern me, I believe the Neurontin and Xanax will suffice. However, I find myself back in 2004, frustrated at how as tax paying citizens we have no recourse or help from the FDA which is supposed to be for the people and not the Pharmaceutical Industry.





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