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A new transdermal formulation of the monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) selegiline (Eldepryl) has proven effective in controlling depression without generating the serious side effects of oral MAQIs. The first placebo-controlled trial of transdermal selegiline reported a significantly greater improvement in symptoms of depression in patients taking transdermal selegiline as compared to patients taking placebo, with none of the dietary interactions associated with the oral formulation.
According to lead investigator J. Alexander Bodkin, M.D., many psy chiatrists do not prescribe MAOIs any more due to fear of their side effects.
"The reason MAOIs aren't being used anymore is not because they aren't effective," Bodkin, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and Associate Psychiatrist, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA, told The Brown University Psychopharmacology Update. "They are supremely effective. But people who are on them can get killed as a result of eating the wrong food."
According to Bodkin, oral MAOIs currently available in the U.S., such as oral selegiline, inhibit the MAO-A enzymes in the …