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Journal of ECT:
Case Report

Electroconvulsive Therapy in Patients Taking Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors

Dolenc, Tamara J. MD*; Habl, Samar S. MD*; Barnes, Roxann D. MD†; Rasmussen, Keith G. MD*

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Abstract

Concerns have been expressed regarding the use of general anesthesia for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). We review the published literature and present 4 new cases and conclude that there is no evidence of a dangerous interaction between ECT and MAOI use. In general, a cautious approach would be to discontinue MAOIs before ECT if the medication has not been helpful; however, there is no need for a washout interval before starting ECT. Furthermore, if there is otherwise a reason for continuing the MAOI, it can be continued during index ECT or initiated during maintenance ECT.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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