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Clinical Notes |

Pargyline, Cheese, and Acute Hypertension

Frederic S. Glazener, MD; William A. Morgan, MD; John M. Simpson, MD; Paul K. Johnson, MD
JAMA. 1964;188(8):754-755. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060340052016.
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SEVERE hypertensive episodes, sometimes fatal, may occur after the eating of ripened cheeses by patients receiving potent monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. Most reported cases have been associated with the mood-elevator tranylcypromine sulfate. This is a report of a severe, paradoxical hypertensive crisis occurring in a patient taking the antihypertensive MAO inhibitor, pargyline hydrochloride, apparently precipitated by the ingestion of aged cheddar cheese.

Report of a Case  A 59-year-old white widow, a laboratory technician at night, sought medical assistance at 11 PM on Dec 30, 1963, because of generalized pounding headache, profuse sweating, weakness, tremulousness, and anxiety. She had a long history of hypertension which was first noted in 1947 during routine blood pressure evaluation for a blood donation. From 1947 to 1959 she had no symptoms related to the hypertension and she received no antihypertensive medication. While she was working for a physician in 1959 her blood pressure was found


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