Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) have proven efficacy for treating depression and for decades have been a preferred treatment for patients with atypical depression, high levels of anxiety, anergic bipolar depression, and treatment-resistant depression. However, MAOIs are infrequently used due to safety and tolerability concerns and the need for dietary restrictions. Current guidelines, which are reviewed here, recommend MAOIs as third-, fourth-, or fifth-line treatments due to these concerns. However, a transdermal formulation of selegiline limits the need for dietary restrictions and has fewer side effects than many more widely used antidepressants. The availability of a safer and more tolerable formulation gives clinicians another option in their armamentarium for treating depression.
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