Currently Enrolling Trials
Marplan (isocarboxazid) is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor.
Marplan is specifically indicated for the treatment of depression. Because of its potentially serious side effects, Marplan is not an antidepressant of first choice in the treatment of newly diagnosed depressed patients.
Marplan is supplied as tablets for oral administration. For maximum therapeutic effect, the dosage of Marplan must be individually adjusted on the basis of careful observation of the patient. Dosage should be started with one tablet (10 mg) of Marplan twice daily. If tolerated, dosage may be increased by increments of one tablet (10 mg) every 2 to 4 days to achieve a dosage of four tablets daily (40 mg) by the end of the first week of treatment. Dosage can then be increased by increments of up to 20 mg/week, if needed and tolerated, to a maximum recommended dosage of 60 mg/day. Daily dosage should be divided into two to four dosages. After maximum clinical response is achieved, an attempt should be made to reduce the dosage slowly over a period of several weeks without jeopardizing the therapeutic response. Beneficial effect may not be seen in some patients for 3 to 6 weeks. If no response is obtained by then, continued administration is unlikely to help. Because of the limited experience with systematically monitored patients receiving Marplan at the higher end of the currently recommended dose range of up to 60 mg/day, caution is indicated in patients for whom a dose of 40 mg/day is exceeded.
Mechanism of Action
Marplan (isocarboxazid) is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor. The mechanism by which MAO inhibitors act as antidepressants is not fully understood, but it is thought to involve the elevation of brain levels of biogenic amines.
Adverse effects associated with the use of Marplan may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- dry mouth
Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of Marplan or any other antidepressant in a child, adolescent or young adult must balance this risk with the clinical need. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. Marplan is not approved for use in pediatric patients.
Clinical Trial Results
The effectiveness of Marplan was demonstrated in two 6-week placebo-controlled studies conducted in adult outpatients with depressive symptoms that corresponded to the DSM-IV category of major depressive disorder. The patients often also had signs and symptoms of anxiety (anxious mood, panic, and/or phobic symptoms). Patients were initiated with a dose of 10 mg bid, with increases every 2 to 4 days, as tolerated, until a therapeutic effect was achieved, up to a maximum dose of 80 mg/day. Doses were administered on a divided schedule ranging from 2 to 4 times a day. The mean dose overall for both studies was approximately 40 mg/day, with very few patients receiving doses greater than 60 mg/day. In both studies at the end of 6 weeks, patients receiving Marplan had significantly greater reduction in signs and symptoms of depression evaluated by the Hamilton Depression Scale, for both the Total Score and the Depressed Mood Score, than patients who received placebo.