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Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are the oldest class of antidepressant medications. In the 1950's, iproniazid, an agent used to treat tuberculosis, was discovered to be an inhibitor of MAO and was inadvertently found to produce an improvement in mood.1 They are most effective in treating atypical and melancholic types of depression. Due to the medications dangerous interactions with certain foods and health conditions, they are often used as a last method of treatment.
- Briley, M & Montgomery, S. (1998). Antidepressant Therapy: The Dawn of the Third Millennium. London: Mosby.