CORRECT ANSWER A) Corned beef.

MAOI (Monoamine oxidase inhibitors) is a class of medications that helps with depression. This class was one of the first developed to treat for depression. They are not as frequently prescribed now as newer class antidepressants. Newer classes often have fewer side effects than MAOIs. However, for some individuals, this class works well and is sometimes still used. (1) Certain foods should be avoided while on this class medication-specifically tyramine containing foods. High tyramine containing foods can actually cause dangerous spikes in blood pressure while taking a MAOI.

Corned beef is considered a cured beef product. Other cured meats include dry summer sausage and salami. These contain tyramine. One should not eat tyramine containing foods while taking a MAOI. Aged cheese, wine, beer, sauerkraut, cured meats, smoked or processed meats (hot dogs, bacon, bologna, smoked fish), soy sauce, are all examples of foods/drinks that contain tyramine (theses are just a few). Note-Cheeses from pasteurized milk do not usually have higher levels of tyramine-but still have to be cautious. Eating foods that contain tyramine while taking a MAOI, may cause a dangerous spike in blood pressure.  List of MAOIs


  • fermented
  • cured
  • aged
  • spoiled


The question is asking which food would be the MOST concerning. This is a key word that can often be tricky. On NCLEX and other such licensure tests, you will often run into questions like this. These questions may have more than one right answer but are asking you to pick the best one. Here it is really asking you to choose the food with the highest tyramine content, as high tyramine containing foods should be avoided while taking a MAOI. Livestrong.com-“The only cheeses that can be eaten are cottage cheese, cream cheese, ricotta, part-skim mozzarella and American processed cheese. These types of cheese are allowed as long as they have been refrigerated for no more than two or three weeks.” (5). Specifically aged cheeses such as cheddar, Swiss, blue, Brie, Stilton and Camembert should be avoided. Corned beef is a cured meat and has higher content of tyramine than the other choices.


1. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), Mayoclinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/maois/art-20043992

2. Photocredit: Pixabay

3. What Foods Are High And Low in Tyramine.  Health Line https://www.healthline.com/health/tyramine-free-diets#foods

4. Meal Ideas and Menus. Avoiding High Tyramine Foods Made Easy.  Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD https://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/documents/neurology/files/Tyramine%20Menu%20Book%2006227101.pdf

5. Foods with Tyramine to Avoid Livestrong.com https://www.livestrong.com/article/295661-foods-to-avoid-with-tyramine/

DISCLAIMER: The information posted is not intended to be medical advice. Check with your primary care provider regarding questions about your health. This post and all other posts are for educational purposes only. This information is intended for medical professionals & students. This is not intended to guide in medical decisions or treatment in any way. As always, medical professionals should call the on call provider if any clarifications are needed. State and hospital protocols should always be followed accordingly. Med Made Ez (MME) disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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