Papers And Originals

Interactions between Sympathomimetic Amines and Antidepressant Agents in Man

Br Med J 1973; 1 doi: (Published 10 February 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;1:311
  1. A. J. Boakes,
  2. D. R. Laurence,
  3. P. C. Teoh,
  4. F. S. K. Barar,
  5. L. T. Benedikter,
  6. B. N. C. Prichard


    Intravenous infusions of phenylephrine, noradrenaline, adrenaline, and isoprenaline were given to healthy human volunteers after five to seven days on phenelzine, tranylcypromine, or imipramine, and cardiovascular responses were compared with those observed under control conditions. With monoamine oxidase inhibitors there was a 2-2½ fold potentiation of the pressor effect of phenylephrine, but no clinically significant potentiation of cardiovascular effects of noradrenaline, adrenaline, or isoprenaline. With imipramine there was potentiation of the pressor effects of phenylephrine (2-3 fold), noradrenaline (4-8 fold), and adrenaline (2-4 fold); there were dysrhythmias during adrenaline infusions, but no noticeable or consistent changes in response to isoprenaline.

    Noradrenaline and adrenaline in amounts contained in local anaesthetics used in dentistry are not likely to be significantly potentiated in otherwise healthy patients receiving monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Hazardous potentiation of their cardiovascular effects might occur in patients receiving tricyclic antidepressants.

    Our observations do not indicate that the hazards associated with isoprenaline inhalation by bronchial asthmatics would be increased by coincident therapy with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor or tricyclic antidepressant.