Tyramine infusions and selective monoamine oxidase inhibitor treatment - I. Changes in pressor sensitivity

David Pickar, Robert M. Cohen, David C. Jimerson, Dennis L. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The enhanced sensitivity to the pressor effects of tyramine, an indirect-acting sympathomimetic found abundantly in the diet, is a well-known potentially dangerous side effect occurring during treatment with commonly used nonselective monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. The effects of treatment with the selective MAO-A inhibitor clorgyline and the partially selective MAO-B inhibitors pargyline and deprenyl on tyramine's pressor effects were studied in depressed patients using an IV steady-state tyramine infusion technique. After 4 weeks of treatment, clorgyline produced a significantly greater increase in tyramine sensitivity in comparison to a medication-free baseline (29-fold) than did pargyline (12-fold) or deprenyl (1.7-fold). The pressor effects of tyramine were significantly prolonged after cessation of infusion during both clorgyline and pargyline, but not deprenyl treatment. These data from IV tyramine administrations suggest that intestinal MAO inhibition is not the major determinant of the enhanced tyramine pressor sensitivity produced by clorgyline and pargyline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-7
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1981
Externally publishedYes


  • Pressor sensitivity
  • Selective MAO-A and MAO-B inhibitors
  • Tyramine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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