Foods to Avoid with MAO Inhibitors
As noted, it’s important to avoid eating foods that contain tyramine while taking MAO inhibitors since this could lead to a hypertensive crisis. Fermented foods that contain large amounts of tyramine include such foods as aged cheeses, frozen yogurt, sour cream, fermented meats, liver, pickled meat, sauerkraut, yeast extract, fava beans, dried fruits, tofu, overripe fruit, and game meats. These items should be completely avoided when taking MAO inhibitors.
It’s also important to avoid red wine, beer, brandy, ale, liquers, sherry, and cognac; and limit caffeinated beverages and chocolate when taking MAO inhibitors. This isn’t an exhaustive list, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about what foods you can and can’t eat on MAO inhibitors to prevent elevations in blood pressure. Certain medications such as decongestants, pain killers, cough medications, diet pills, and other antidepressants should also not be used with MAO inhibitors. Mixing MAOIs with tyramine-containing foods or certain medications can have life-threatening consequences.