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Marplan side effects: A detailed guide

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More common side effectsMild side effectsSerious side effectsFAQSide effects in detailWarningsAsk your doctor
Marplan is prescribed for depression when other antidepressants have not helped. It’s an antidepressant drug that may cause mild or serious side effects. These include nausea, dry mouth, and increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
Medically reviewed by Christina Bookwalter PharmD, MS MEd, BCPS, BCACP
Updated on

This article describes possible side effects of Marplan oral tablet. To learn more about Marplan, including the drug’s uses, side effects, ways to save on cost, and more, talk with your doctor.

Marplan is a brand-name medication that comes as an oral tablet. It isn’t available in a generic version. This article describes possible side effects of Marplan.

Boxed warning: Risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors

Marplan has a boxed warning for the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

For details, see the “Side effects of Marplan in detail” section below.

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More common side effects of Marplan

Marplan oral tablet may cause mild or serious side effects. Below are some of the more common side effects of this medication.

Commonly reported side effects of Marplan include:

Mild side effects of Marplan

Marplan may cause certain mild side effects. Usually, mild side effects are temporary and are easily manageable. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have side effects that don’t go away or become bothersome.

Mild side effects of Marplan oral tablet that occurred in studies include:

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects of Marplan in detail” section below.
† An allergic reaction is possible with Marplan oral tablet. But it wasn’t reported in the drug’s studies.

Marplan oral tablet may cause more mild side effects than those listed above. For details, see the drug’s prescribing information.

Serious side effects of Marplan

Marplan may cause certain serious side effects. If you have any serious side effects from Marplan, call your doctor right away. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency or your side effects feel life threatening, take immediate action. Call 911 or a local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.

After the FDA approves a drug, it tracks and reviews side effects of the medication. Visit MedWatch’s website if you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Marplan.

Serious side effects of Marplan oral tablet that occurred in studies include:

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects of Marplan in detail” section below.
Marplan oral tablet has a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA. To learn more, see the “Side effects of Marplan in detail” section below.
‡ An allergic reaction is possible with Marplan oral tablet. But it wasn’t reported in the drug’s studies.

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Common questions about side effects of Marplan

Here are answers to some common questions about side effects of Marplan oral tablet. If you have other questions, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

How do side effects of Marplan compare with those seen with Nardil?

The side effects of Nardil are the same as the side effects of Marplan. They are both monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) drugs used to treat depression. MAO inhibitors have a higher risk of serious side effects and drug interactions than other kinds of antidepressants. Due to this, they are usually the last drug to try when other antidepressants have not helped.

You can learn more about how these two drugs compare by talking with your doctor or pharmacist.

Is weight gain a side effect of Marplan?

No, weight gain isn’t an expected side effect of Marplan. People taking Marplan oral tablet in studies of the drug did not report weight gain as a side effect.

But depression can cause weight changes, including weight loss. Treating depression with a medication such as Marplan may lead to improvements in symptoms. So you could gain weight if weight loss was part of your depression.

If you have concerns about changes in your weight, tell your doctor. They can determine the most likely cause and recommend ways to manage it. Also, don’t take weight-loss drugs without talking with your doctor first. Some weight-loss drugs can cause serious drug interactions with Marplan oral tablet.

Does Marplan cause long-term side effects?

Long-term side effects aren’t expected with Marplan oral tablet. In studies, specific side effects weren’t seen in people who had taken the drug for a long time. Long-lasting side effects after treatment ended also weren’t reported.

Talk with your doctor if you have more questions about possible long-term side effects with Marplan oral tablet.

Side effects of Marplan in detail

Below you’ll find details on some of the side effects of Marplan oral tablet.

Risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors

Marplan oral tablet has a boxed warning for the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA.

In studies, suicidal thoughts or behaviors were rare in people ages 24 years and younger taking Marplan oral tablet. The risk for this side effect is highest in the first few months of treatment and during dosage changes. Keep in mind that depression and other mental health problems can also cause suicidal thoughts and actions.

Symptoms may include changes in thoughts, feelings, behaviors, or mood.

Ways to manage

Due to this boxed warning risk, Marplan oral tablet isn’t approved for use in children. Doctors will monitor anyone taking Marplan for new or worsening mental health symptoms. They’ll also ask family and caregivers to watch for signs and symptoms of suicidal behaviors.

To learn more about this risk, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Suicide prevention

If you or someone you know is in crisis and considering suicide or self-harm, please seek support:

If you’re calling on behalf of someone else, stay with them until help arrives. You may remove weapons or substances that can cause harm if you can do so safely.

If you are not in the same household, stay on the phone with them until help arrives.

Severe high blood pressure

In studies, severe high blood pressure was rare in people taking Marplan oral tablet. This side effect may be serious or even fatal.

MAO inhibitors, including Marplan oral tablet, stop the body from breaking down a substance called tyramine. Tyramine helps the body regulate blood pressure. High levels of tyramine can increase your blood pressure. So taking an MAO inhibitor can cause high levels of tyramine and increase your blood pressure.

Sometimes, blood pressure increases to dangerous levels in people taking an MAO inhibitor. Symptoms may include:

  • dizziness
  • eye sensitivity to light
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • feeling of squeezing in your throat or chest
  • fever
  • nausea or vomiting
  • stiff or sore neck
  • sudden or severe headache
  • sweating
  • very wide pupils

Certain factors can increase the risk of severe high blood pressure with Marplan oral tablet. These include eating foods high in tyramine or taking certain drugs that interact with Marplan.

Foods that have a high tyramine content are often aged or fermented foods including:

  • alcohol
  • certain fruits and vegetables, including any overripe fruit
  • cheese
  • chocolate
  • coffee
  • colas
  • sauerkraut
  • smoked, pickled, or processed meats or fish
  • sour cream
  • soy sauce
  • tea
  • tofu and other bean curds
  • yeast extracts
  • yogurt

These are not all the foods that may contain tyramine. Talk with your doctor to get a complete list of foods to avoid.

Ways to manage

Your doctor will check your blood pressure regularly while you’re taking Marplan. They will also let you know what foods and medications to avoid while taking Marplan. Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking a new medication, including over-the-counter medications and supplements.

If you experience symptoms of severe increased blood pressure, get emergency medical care.

Allergic reaction

For some people, Marplan oral tablet can cause an allergic reaction. But people taking Marplan in studies of the drug did not report this side effect.

Symptoms can be mild or serious, and they may include:

  • itchiness
  • skin rash
  • swelling under the skin, usually affecting eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of the mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)

Ways to manage

For mild allergic reaction symptoms, such as a mild rash, call your doctor right away. They may recommend treatments to help manage your symptoms. They’ll also let you know whether you should keep taking the medication.

For severe allergic reaction symptoms, such as swelling or trouble breathing, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. These symptoms require immediate medical care because they can become life threatening. If you’ve had a serious allergic reaction to Marplan, your doctor may recommend taking a different medication instead.

Warnings for Marplan

Below are some factors you may want to discuss with your doctor before taking Marplan oral tablet .

Boxed warning: Risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors

Marplan oral tablet has a boxed warning for the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA.

For details, see the “Side effects of Marplan in detail” section above.

Other warnings

It may not be safe for you to take Marplan oral tablet if you have specific health conditions. These are sometimes called drug-condition interactions. Other factors may also affect whether Marplan is a safe treatment option for you.

Before taking Marplan oral tablet, tell your doctor about your health and the medications you take. Things to consider include:

Marplan and pregnancy

It is unknown whether you should take Marplan oral tablet during pregnancy. If you’re planning a pregnancy or can become pregnant, talk with your doctor before taking this medication.

Your doctor may talk with you about the National Pregnancy Registry for Antidepressants. It monitors outcomes of Marplan use during pregnancy. You can register by calling 866-961-2388 or visiting this website

Marplan and breastfeeding

It is unknown whether you should take Marplan oral tablet while breastfeeding. If you’re currently breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor before taking this medication.

Marplan and alcohol

Marplan oral tablet is known to interact with alcohol.

Drinking alcohol while taking Marplan can cause dangerous increases in blood pressure that can be fatal. Due to this risk, you should not drink alcohol while taking Marplan.

This includes nonalcoholic versions of beer, wine, or liquor. Even though these are alcohol-free, they may still be fermented, which causes high levels of a substance called tyramine. Tyramine helps the body regulate blood pressure, and high levels of tyramine can increase your blood pressure.

If you have concerns about alcohol use while taking Marplan, talk with your doctor.

What to ask your doctor

This article describes common and serious side effects of Marplan oral tablet. If your doctor prescribes this medication, they can discuss possible side effects with you. Let your doctor know if you have concerns or questions about treatment with this medication.

Here’s a list of some possible questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • How do the side effects of Marplan compare to other medications that could treat my condition?
  • Do any of the other medications I take increase the risk of side effects with Marplan?
  • What medications and foods do I need to avoid while taking Marplan?

Disclaimer: Optum Perks has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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