Foods to Avoid While Taking Parnate

Parnate, the brand name of the drug tranylcypromine sulfate, is an antidepressant classified as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, or MAOI.

Parnate is used for the treatment of major depressive disorder. If you take Parnate--or have taken it within two weeks--you must avoid any food that contains tyramine. Eating foods that contain this chemical can cause severely high blood pressure, which may lead to stroke or even death, according to

Aged Cheeses

Avoid aged cheeses that contain tyramine, if you take Parnate. All cheeses are considered aged except for cream cheese, cottage cheese, processed cheese and ricotta. As long as other dairy products are fresh, you can eat them, advises. Make sure you also steer clear of pizzas, casseroles and burgers made with aged cheeses.

Alcoholic Beverages

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Avoid or curtail your use of alcoholic beverages while taking Parnate.

There are moderate to high levels of tyramine in tap, bottled and canned beer, including non-alcoholic beer. Red and white wine also contain the chemical. According to, individuals taking Parnate should limit beer to two or less 12-ounce servings per day and wine to two 4-ounce glasses per day. Ask your doctor before drinking any alcohol if you take Parnate.

Fermented Soy Products

Abstain from all fermented soy products while on Parnate, including foods such as miso paste, miso soup, soy sauce and tofu. All fermented soy contains tyramine.

Cured, Smoked or Aged Fish, Meat or Poultry

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Don't eat cured, smoked or aged fish, meat or poultry if you take Parnate. Pickled herring, smoked fish, beef jerky, salami, bologna, ham, mortadella, sausage and the meat extract Bovril are examples of meats to avoid. You can eat any meat that is bought fresh and eaten fresh.

Additional Aged, Fermented or Pickled Foods

If you take Parnate, stay away from sauerkraut, kim chee, banana peels, fava or broad bean pods and concentrated yeast products like Vegamite.

Foods of Uncertain Freshness

Foods that age naturally are also a potential danger, if you take Parnate. Avoid over-ripe fruits and any food that is improperly stored or is no longer fresh.

Large Amounts of Caffeine

Limit your intake of caffeine-containing beverages and foods when taking Parnate, according to MedlinePlus. Large amounts of coffee, tea, soda and chocolate can cause an adverse reaction. Ask your doctor how much caffeine is safe.