Know Your MAO Inhibitors !


Aug 14, 2000




As the parent of a child with special needs, I have had to learn to pay close attention to the warning and side effect labels on various over the counter medicines.

My oldest son who is now 22, will have to be on medications for the remainder of his life. Some of the medicines he takes can be fatal if mixed with over the counter medicines. My son takes some medicines that have tranquilizing effects, and therefore are termed MAO Inhibitors. This also refers to some heart medications, as well as tranquilizers such as Valium, Librium, or Prozac.

Most over the counter cold remedies whether generic or name brand will clearly state on their labels not to take them with an MAO Inhibitor. Please read all labels and warnings carefully, then if you have questions, talk with your doctor. If you are taking anything you have questions about always check first ! Remember, just because a medicine is sold over the counter does not mean it is right for everyone !!

A good reference, is to purchase a pharmaceutical book that outlines various medications, the side effects, and possible interactions. Educate yourself on the medicines you take and the possible risks. Many pharmacies carry these books, and also bookstores have them too.

I have found over the years, that if you don't make a point of asking your doctor or pharmacist directly about possible side effects or drug interactions, they may not even mention these problems to you. You must take charge of your health related problems, and get educated on you and your family's medication options.

If you have elderly grandparents or parents, it is also good to know what medicines they are taking, and the side effects and interactions which are possible with those medicines.

If you find that you can not take an over the counter medicine because of interactions with current medications, ask your doctor or pharmacist about other medicines which will not interact with what you are currently taking.

In my son's case, he can purchase over the counter cold remidies, both in name brand and generic that do not counter act with his current medicines. Most times we must ask the pharmacist for those products, as that many pharmacies keep them behind the counter.

We have not noticed much of a difference in the quality or effects of these products whether we purchase generic or name brand.



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