Moclobemide

Medication Information Leaflet

What is this medication for?

Moclobemide belongs to a group of antidepressants known as reversible Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs). It is used to treat symptoms of depression (low mood) such as:

  • Feelings of sadness

  • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness

  • Feeling bad about yourself

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Poor sleep, energy or appetite

Moclobemide may be used for other conditions. Check with your healthcare professional if you are unsure why you are given this medication.

How should I take/use this medication?

  • Follow the instructions on your medication label and take this medication as prescribed by your doctor.

  • This medication should be taken with or after food.

  • This medication needs to be taken regularly for a few weeks before you feel its full benefits. You should not stop taking this medication even if you do not feel better at the beginning. Continue to take this medication even after you feel better to prevent your symptoms from returning.

  • Do check with your doctor on how long you will have to be on this medication.

  • Do not stop taking your medication without checking with your healthcare professional. You may experience unpleasant effects such as dizziness, headache, difficulty sleeping, irritability and nausea if you suddenly stop taking the medication on your own.

What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Then take the next dose at your usual timing. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose.

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication

  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. If you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding, your doctor would have discussed the potential benefits and side-effects with you and should you have further questions or concerns, do consult your doctor.

  • You are taking any other medications including those that can be bought without a prescription, supplements, traditional Chinese medicine and herbal remedies. Some of them may affect how this medication works or cause serious drug interactions.

  • You have or have ever had:

    • Other drug allergies

    • Medical conditions such as:

      • Liver or thyroid disease, pheochromocytoma (tumour of adrenal glands), high blood pressure
    • Other mental health conditions such as Bipolar disorder or mania (abnormally high or excited mood, or excessive activity and energy)

    • Been taking other medications for low mood in the past 2 weeks.

IMPORTANT:

In some cases, particularly in young people below the age of 25 years, this medication may cause the following changes to a person’s mental condition, especially in the first few weeks of treatment or during dose changes:

  • New or worsening thoughts of harming yourself or ending your life

  • Worsening agitation, restlessness, violent behaviour, or

  • Other changes in mood or behaviour

Please inform your doctor as soon as possible, or for your family or caregiver to inform your doctor if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.

Do not stop taking this medication on your own without discussing with your doctor.

It is important to note that your doctor has prescribed this medication as he/ she feels you will benefit more from taking this medication over the possible risks that it may cause, which have a low chance of occurring, and most people take this medication without any of such problems.

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

The mentioned side effects generally affect up to 10% of patients.

  • Nausea

    • Take the medication with or after food

    • Take simple meals and avoid rich or spicy foods

  • Constipation

    • Drink more water (if not on fluid-restricted diet), eat more high-fibre foods, and exercise regularly

    • Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you need a medication to help with your constipation

  • Dry mouth

    • Chew sugar-free gum, suck on sugar-free hard candies or ice chips, sip water regularly

  • Light-headedness (especially during a sudden change in posture)

    • Get up slowly from a sitting or lying down position

  • Difficulty sleeping

    • Discuss with your doctor if you can take this medication at a different time of the day

    • Avoid daytime naps, listen to relaxing music at bedtime

    • Avoid overeating or drinking before bedtime

    • Limit caffeine intake at least 8 hours before bedtime

Most of the side effects listed here will improve with time. Speak to your doctor if they continue, get worse or are affecting your daily life.

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue

  • Difficulty in breathing

  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

Rarely this medication may cause:

  • Confusion, agitation, hallucination, muscle rigidity, tremor (symptoms of serotonin syndrome)

  • Severe throbbing headache which starts at the back of the head and radiates forward

  • Neck stiffness

  • Fast, pounding, slow or irregular heartbeat

If you experience any of these side effects, you should stop your medication and inform your healthcare professional immediately.

Please also take note that the above listed side effects are not exhaustive. If you have any concerns about your medication or if you have other side effects that you think are caused by this medication, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medication as it can cause excessive drowsiness.

When taken with certain food or drinks, moclobemide may cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure. To avoid such a reaction:

  • Avoid consuming excessive amounts of tyramine-rich food or drinks (such as cheese, yeast extract, fermented soya bean products, smoked fish, herring fish, beans, liver, avocado, bananas, wine or beer)

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children.

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.


Disclaimers

If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on Jun 2021

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Moclobemide

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