Depression Drugs Get a New Warning

Zyvox and an injectable dye may interact with antidepressants in a harmful way

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) Zyvox (linezolid) and an injectable dye used in many tests may interact with some antidepressants. New safety warnings were issued by the FDA.

Zyvox and methylene blue dye can create serotonin syndrome when taken with some antidepressants. Serotonin syndrome can cause problems with the heart, muscles and mind.

Serotonin syndrome can cause hallucination, changes in heart function, muscle problems and stomach problems. It happens when you have too much blood serotonin because of drug interactions or by taking too much of an antidepressant.

"Your doctor needs to know about all meds you take."

Adverse event reporting to the US Food and Drug administration (FDA) showed Zyvox and methylene blue dye can interact with some antidepressants and cause serotonin syndrome.

Last year, Zyvox and methylene blue both got updated labels because they suspected they could interfere with antidepressant drugs. The Zyvox warning cautions against taking any medication that affect serotonin levels in combination with Zyvox.

In October, the FDA required updated safety warnings for some specific antidepressants to reflect the warnings for Zyvox.

The obsessive compulsive disorder drug, Anafranil (clomipramine hydrochloride) was included in the most recent updates.

The antidepressants Remeron (mirtazapine), Pamelor (nortriptyline hydrochloride) and Tofranil-PM (imipramine pamoate) also added the same warning.

Taking these drugs with Zyvox or methylene blue raises the risk of serotonin syndrome. Zyvox is an antibiotic used to treat infection. Methylene blue is used to treat some conditions. It is also used by doctors as a dye for some tests.

Patients should make sure their doctors know about all the medications they are taking – even if they seem unrelated.

The FDA required new labeling on Anafril, Remeron, Pamelor and Tofranil-PM at the end of October.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
November 9, 2012
Last Updated:
November 16, 2012