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Answer to your Health Question

Question (03/25 /2012):

Title: Interactions between L Tyrosine and Trazodone a tetracyclic antidepressant.

Can L Tyrosine be taken with Trazodone a tetracyclic antidepressant?



Dear Annie,

Tyrosine can interact with a class of antidepressants known as MAOIs.

Tricyclics and Tetracyclics (TCA's) along with the MAOI's, are considered the classic antidepressant drugs.

Your body uses tyrosine to make brain chemicals, such as dopamine, which can influence mental health.

Both tricyclics and related antidepressants like tetracyclics are part of the 'cyclic' antidepressants because of their ringed structures.

They work within the brain to affect several neurotransmitters.

Tyrosine is a precursor to neurotransmitters and increases plasma neurotransmitter levels (particularly dopamine and norepinephrine).

Tyrosine may have antidepressant effects, but studies are inconclusive

Taking tyrosine with an MAO inhibitor can cause a dangerous increase in blood pressure.

Investigators at the VU University Medical Center, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, show that depression is associated with low-not high-blood pressure but that taking certain antidepressants, particularly tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), tends to raise blood pressure and increase the risk for hypertension.

A 1979 animal study published in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" studied the effect of tyrosine injections on the blood pressure of male rats. Researchers found that tyrosine actually reduced rat blood pressure.

Another study on tyrosine and blood pressure was published in the journal "Brain Research Bulletin" in 1994. This study looked at the effect of tyrosine on healthy human subjects. Tyrosine was found to reduce diastolic pressure but had no effect on systolic blood pressure.

A 1999 study published in "Brain Research Bulletin" also found that tyrosine supplementation reduced blood pressure in people.


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