Author(s): Da Prada M, Zrcher G, Wthrich I, Haefely WE
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Abstract The pathways for the biosynthesis and metabolism of tyramine are described as a basis for the discussion of the interaction between MAO inhibitors and tyramine. While a role of endogenous tyramine in the antidepressant action of MAO inhibitors remains purely hypothetical at this time, the mechanisms leading to the potentiation of the tyramine pressor effect ("cheese effect") are well known. Experiments in animals and man have provided concordant quantitative information on the effect of irreversible and some novel reversible MAO inhibitors on the presystemic disposition of orally ingested tyramine and on the noradrenaline-releasing action of tyramine in noradrenergic nerve terminals. There is a profound difference in the magnitude of tyramine potentiation between the irreversible inhibitor tranylcypromine and the reversible inhibitor moclobemide. A systematic analysis of the tyramine content of current European food and beverage is reported and serves as a rational basis for providing advice to patients on moclobemide. Most of the food and beverages analyzed contain less tyramine than previously reported and a few rules concerning rare cheeses with high tyramine content are sufficient to eliminate the risk of hypertensive crises.
This article was published in J Neural Transm Suppl
and referenced in Health Care : Current Reviews