Electroconvulsive therapy in patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors

Tamara J. Dolenc, Samar S. Habl, Roxann D. Barnes, Keith G. Rasmussen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-261
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of ECT
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2004


  • Anesthesia
  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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