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Dr. Vijayakumar D.R MBBS, DPM, DNB (NIMHANS), CCST (UK)
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The Antidepressant Moclobemide


The name of your medication is moclobemide. It belongs to a class of antidepressants called RIMA (Reversible Inhibitor of Monoamine Oxidize-A).


Moclobemide is primarily used in the treatment of major depressive disorders and depression associated with Manic Depressive Illness (Bipolar Disorder). It has also been approved in the management of chronic dysthymia. Though not approved for these indications, moclobomide has also been found effective for seasonal affective disorder and social phobia.

How quickly will the drug start working?

Moclobemide begins to improve sleep and appetite and to increase energy within about one week; however, feelings of depression may take from 4-6 weeks to improve. Because antidepressants take time to work, do not decrease or increase the dose or stop the medication without discussing this with your doctor. Improvement in symptoms of seasonal affective disorder and social phobia also occur gradually. 

When should I take this medication?

Moclobemide is usually prescribed to be taken twice daily , morning and evening. Take this drug after meals to minimize side effects. If a meal is missed, the drug should still be taken, but a large meal should not be eaten for at least 1 hour.

How long should you take this medication?

Following the first episode of depression it is recommended that antidepressants be continued for a minimum of 1 year; this decreases the chance of being ill again. The doctor may then decrease the drug slowly and monitor for any symptoms of depression; if none occur, the drug can gradually be stopped. For individuals who have had several episode of depression, antidepressant medication should be continued indefinitely. Long-term treatment is generally recommended for social phobia; while cyclical therapy may be effective for seasonal affective disorder.

Side effects 

Side effects occur, to some degree, with all medication. They are usually not serious and do not occur in all individuals. They may sometimes occur before beneficial effects of the medication are noticed. If a side effect continues, speak to your doctor about appropriate treatment.

Common side effects that should be reported to your doctor at the next appointment include:

  • Energizing/agitated feeling-Some individuals may fell nervous or have difficulty sleeping for a few days after starting this medication . Report this to your doctor; he/she may advise you to take the medication in the morning and afternoon (rather than the evening).
  • Headache-This can be managed by taking analgesics (e. g., aspirin, acetaminophen) as required. If the headache persists or is “troubling” contact your doctor.
  • Dizziness-Get up from a lying or sitting position slowly; dangle your legs over the edge of the bed for a few minutes before getting up. Sit or lie down if dizziness persists or if you feel faint,-then call the doctor.
  • Nausea or heartburn—if this happens, take the medication with food.
  • Sweating—You may sweat more than usual; frequent showering, used of deodorants and talcum powder may help.
  • Rare side effects you should report your doctor IMMEDIATELY include:
  • Persistent, throbbing headache
  • Soreness of the mouth, gums, or throat
  • Skin rash or itching, swelling of the face
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, weakness, fever, or flu-like symptoms
  • Yellow tinge in the eyes or to the skin; dark-colored urine
  • Severe agitation or restlessness
  • Switch in mood to an unusual state of happiness, excitement, irritability, or a marked disturbance in sleep

Let your doctor know as soon as possible if you miss your period or suspect you may be pregnant.

Treatment with moclobemide does Not require special diet restrictions as with other MAOI’s. However, you should avoid eating excessive amounts of aged, overripe cheeses or yeast extracts. If a hypertensive reaction should occur, the symptoms usually come on suddenly, so be alert for these signs:

  • Severe, throbbing headache which starts at the back of the head and radiates forward. Often the headache is accompanied by nausea and vomiting
  • Neck stiffness
  • Heart palpitations, fast heart beat, chest pain
  • Sweating , cold and clammy skin
  • Enlarged (dilated)pupils of the eyes
  • Sudden unexplained nose bleeds 

If a combination of these symptoms dose occur, contact your doctor IMMEDIATELY ; if you are unable to do so, go to the Emergency Department of your nearest hospital.

Moclobemide should always be taken after meals to avoid any food-related side effects(e. g., headaches).

What should you do if you forget to take a dose of your medication?

If you take your total dose of antidepressant in the morning and you forget to take it for more than 6 hours, skip the missed dose and continue with your schedule the next day. DO NOT DOUBLE THE DOSE. If you take the drug several times a day, take the missed dose when you remember, then continue with your regular schedule.

Interactions with other medication

Because antidepressant drugs can change the effect of other medication, or may be affected by other medication, always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking other drugs, including over-the -counter medication such as cold remedies. Always inform any doctor or dentist that you see that you are taking an antidepressant drug.


  1. Do not increase or decrease your dose without consulting your doctor.
  2. Do not stop your drug suddenly as this may result in withdrawal symptoms such as muscle aches, chills, tingling in your hands or feet, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.
  3. Report any changes in mood or behavior to your physician.
  4. This drug may interact with medication prescribed by your dentist, so let him/ her know the name of the drug you are taking.
  5. Store your medication in a clean, dry area at room temperature. Keep all medication out of the reach of children.

If you have any questions regarding this medication, do not hesitate to contact your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse.