Side effects of tranylcypromine

Side effects of MAOI antidepressants, such as tranylcypromine, are shown below. The response to antidepressants is quite individual, so you may not get any of these side effects, or only one or two. Some side effects are temporary, and will go away a few weeks after you started taking this medicine. If you find any side effects troublesome, talk to your doctor about how to manage them, or about switching to another medicine.

Remember that the risk of side effects with any medicine needs to be weighed against its benefit in treating your condition. Your doctor can help you weigh up the risks and benefits of taking particular medicine. See also Is this medicine right for me?

Frequency of side effects with MAOI antidepressants

Common (1% of people or more)Infrequent (between 0.1% and 1% of people)Rare (fewer than 0.1% of people)
  • Dizziness on standing
  • Sleep disturbances (including insomnia and less commonly excessive sleeping)
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Agitation
  • Tremors
  • Twitching
  • Involuntary muscle jerks
  • Exaggerated reflexes
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Weight gain
  • Impotence
  • Loss of libido
  • Abnormal changes in liver function tests
  • Itch
  • Rash
  • Sweating
  • Blurred vision
  • Fluid retention and swelling in the limbs
  • Mania (overexcitement and uninhibited behaviour)
  • Hypertensive crisis due to food or medicine interactions (causes a severe headache and rapid rise in blood pressure which can cause bleeding in the brain or heart failure)
  • Liver damage
  • Low white blood cell count
  • Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH). This causes low blood sodium, which can have serious consequences (seizures, coma or, in severe cases, death)
This is not a complete list of tranylcypromine’s side effects. See the consumer medicine information (CMI) for more information.

Tranylcypromine and driving or operating machinery

Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how this medicine affects you.

Who can I ask about side effects?

If you’re concerned that you or someone in your care is having side effects related to a medicine, seek medical advice.

Call the NPS Medicines Line on 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424) to get information about your prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines (herbal, ‘natural’, vitamins and minerals) from a pharmacist. Your call will be answered by healthdirect Australia.

To report and discuss possible side effects, call the Adverse Medicines Events (AME) line on 1300 134 237 from anywhere in Australia (Mon–Fri, 9am–5pm).

Find out more about

If you are starting tranylcypromine, see 10 things you should know about antidepressants.

You can also read more about depression and the options for treating it.

For more information

The consumer medicine information (CMI) for your brand of tranylcypromine is available from our website or a pharmacist. If you have any concerns about side effects, talk to your health professional. The CMI includes:

  • How to take this medicine
  • What to do if you forget to take it
  • If you take too much (overdose)
  • Things you must and must not do while taking this medicine
  • Signs of severe reactions and what to do.
  • Rossi S, ed. eAMH [online]. Adelaide: Australian Medicines Handbook, 2012. (Accessed 9 February 2012).