Warning Certain chemo drugs interact negatively with some foods

2013 Research
My daughter had a brain tumour. After Temozolomide failed, she was given a triple drug, PCV. The family often ‘credit’ this combination drug with killing her. What doesn’t appear to have been mentioned at the time is that one of the three drugs has significant and negative interactions with foods – and these must be avoided.


The P in PCV stands for Procarbazine, which is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). Monoamine oxidase is an enzyme in the gut and in turn this inactivates tyramine, an amino acid, which is found various foods. Thus drugs like Procarbazine prevent the inactivation of tyramine and may cause ‘adverse and serious events’ if you consume foods that contain tyramine.


Adverse reactions can include:


•        Elevation of blood pressure, headaches, chest pains 

•        Diaphoresis (perspiration associated with fever), palpitations.

•        In severe cases, the crisis can result in intracranial hemorrhage,
        cardiac arrhythmias and cardiac failure.


Foods to avoid:

Eggs; Ginseng; all aged and mature cheeses like cheddar, swiss, blue cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, romano, cheese spreads, cheese casseroles or any foods made with cheese’ yeasts (Brewers yeasts, marmite etc); all smoked, aged, pickled, fermented, or marinated meats, such as pickled herring, prawn/shrimp paste, smoked salmon, meat extracts, liver, game, Dry sausages, pate, dried meats, bacon and ham; over-ripe fruit, fermented milk and soya; some beans; condiments and sauces (like soy sauce); packaged soups; all alcohol including beers, wine etc.


Wikipedia talks of MAOI drugs as being a ‘last resort’ because of these food interactions. Typically MAOI drugs are used with depression. The most commonly prescribed MAOIs are Marplan (isocarboxazid), Nardil (phenelzine), Emsam (selegiline), and Parnate (tranylcypromine).


2013 Research
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