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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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September 2002

Q. My mother is currently in chemotherapy for Hodgkins disease. Since Mastulane (part of the MOPP protocol) is an MAOI as is Nardil and Parnate, will she experience the same antidepressant effects as other MAOIs? Can the Mastulane balance some of the effects of the prednisone given?

A. It is true that Mastulane (Procarbazine) has MAOI properties which are found in some of the older anti-depressant drugs you mention. It is not thought that this effect is related to its cancer fighting properties. As an anti-cancer agent it works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells. The MAOI drugs are not used much these days as newer agents are generally more effective and less toxic when treating depression.

In addition, the MAOI interact badly with many other drugs and common foods. I have not seen any studies that look at the anti-depressant effects of Procarbazine and it is not approved for use in depression.



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