Toxicology: The Dangers of Pickled Herring

Depressed psychiatric patients taking a "psychic energizing" drug called Parnate (tranylcypromine) went through a disheartening experience two years ago. When they ate cheese or drank red wine their hearts pounded, their blood pressure zoomed and their heads ached in tensely. Last week Parnate patients were notified of a new food to delete from their diet: pickled herring.

In a letter to the A.M.A. Journal, three Minneapolis physicians explained that herring and Parnate had never been considered a dangerous combination until a 54-year-old patient turned up with the same painful symptoms that racked the cheese eaters. Analysis showed that some herring...

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