Moclobemide (Manerix)

Moclobemide (Tradename: Manerix) is a reversible inhibitor of monoamine oxidase A (RIMA) used in the treatment of major depressive disorder and social anxiety.

Pharmacokinetics of Moclobemide

Absorption Rapidly absorbed from gut; absorption increases from 50% with 1st dose, to 90% after 2 weeks.
Distribution Relatively lipophillic; 50% bound to albumin
Metabolism Liver; CYP enzymes
Elimination Urine
Half-life 1-4 hours

Moclobemide: Cytochrome P450 Metabolism

Substrate of (Metabolized by) CYP 2C19, 2D6
Induces -
Inhibits -
  • Moclobemide selectively and reversibly inhibits monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A). This inhibition decreases the metabolism and destruction of monoamines in synapses. This results in an increase in the monoamines including serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
  • In overdose, moclobemide alone is relatively safe. However, a combination overdose with moclobemide plus an SSRI/SNRI may be lethal.

Dosing for Moclobemide

Starting 300mg in divided doses (i.e. - 150mg po BID), some may respond only on 150mg a day; the usual dose range is 300-600mg.
Titration Increase by 150mg every 1 week
Maximum 600mg daily
Taper Taper over the course of at least several weeks. When stopping moclobemide and switching to a new antidepressant, wait at least 24 hours for moclobemide to wash out (See also: Tapering/Switching Antidepressants)
  • Moclobemide comes in a tablet form, in 100 mg 150 mg and 300 mg doses.
  • There is generally no dietary monitoring needed, if individuals are on doses >600 mg a day, then they should minimize the consumption of tyramine-rich foods.
    • Thus, individuals should avoid eating too much Marmite or strong or aged cheeses.
  • Once daily dosing may be as effective as twice daily dosing, but twice daily is recommended due to the short half-life.
  • Even though moclobemide is an MAOI, it does not mean the patient needs to have special dietary restrictions. Clinical studies have shown that up to 100 mg tyramine can be safely ingested during treatment on moclobemide doses of up to 600 mg per daily (when given after meals). 100 mg of tyramine is the equivalent of 1,000 g to 2,000 grams of mild cheese, or 200 grams strong cheese, or 70 grams Marmite yeast extract![1]
  • Dose should be cut in half in individuals with severe liver impairment.

Switching From One Antidepressant to Another

When someone is already on an antidepressant such as an SSRI, and you want to stop it and switch over to moclobemide, you should have a 2-week washout period before starting moclobemide!
  • Common side effects include insomnia, sedation, increased anxiety, tachycardia, nausea, diarrhea, or headaches.
  • Anticholinergic effects include dry mouth or blurred vision.
  • There is a low incidence of sexual dysfunction (24% vs. 62% for SSRIs).[2]
  • May be the best tolerated antidepressant as there are no sexual side effects and no dietary restrictions as might be required in other MAOIs.
  • Moclobemide increases REM sleep latency and slightly decreases REM sleep %.[3]
  • Should be taken after meals to avoid tyramine-related effects such as headaches.