Nefazodone

Pronunciation

Generic Name: nefazodone (neff-AZ-oh-done)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Nefazodone may rarely cause serious (potentially life-threatening) liver disease. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop dark urine, extreme fatigue, persistent loss of appetite, stomach pain, or yellowing of the eyes or skin. Tell you doctor of pharmacist if you have a history of liver problems or abnormal liver function tests before taking nefazodone. Your doctor may perform laboratory tests (eg, liver function) to monitor your progress. If your doctor stops your treatment with nefazodone because of liver problems or abnormal liver tests, you should not take nefazodone ever again. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Antidepressants may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or actions in children, teenagers, and young adults. However, depression and certain other mental problems may also increase the risk of suicide. Talk with the patient's doctor to be sure that the benefits of using nefazodone outweigh the risks.

Family and caregivers must closely watch patients who take nefazodone. It is important to keep in close contact with the patient's doctor. Tell the doctor right away if the patient has symptoms like worsened depression, suicidal thoughts, or changes in behavior. Discuss any questions with the patient's doctor.

Nefazodone is not approved for use in children. Talk with the doctor.


Nefazodone is used for:

Treating depression.

Nefazodone is a synthetically derived phenylpiperazine antidepressant. How it improves depression symptoms is not fully understood. It is thought to increase the activity of certain chemicals in the brain (norepinephrine, serotonin), which help elevate mood.

Do NOT use nefazodone if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in nefazodone
  • you are taking aldosterone blockers (eg, spironolactone), astemizole, carbamazepine, cisapride, eletriptan, H1 antagonists (eg, diphenhydramine), pimozide, terfenadine, or tramadol
  • you are taking or have taken linezolid or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine) within the last 14 days

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using nefazodone:

Some medical conditions may interact with nefazodone. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have liver disease, stomach bleeding, high blood levels of an enzyme called transaminase, suicidal tendencies or have attempted suicide, or are debilitated
  • if you are taking a medicine that contains methylene blue

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with nefazodone. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • H1 antagonists (eg, diphenhydramine), HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir), linezolid, MAOIs (eg, phenelzine), or tramadol because side effects of nefazodone, such as increased sedation, may be increased
  • Aldosterone blockers (eg, spironolactone), astemizole, benzodiazepines (eg, alprazolam), buspirone, carbamazepine, cisapride, corticosteroids (eg, hydrocortisone), cyclosporine, eletriptan, H1 antagonists (eg, diphenhydramine), HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (eg, simvastatin), triazolam, MAO inhibitors (eg, phenelzine), pimozide, terfenadine, or tramadol because the actions and side effects of these medicines may be increased
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) because their effectiveness may be decreased by nefazodone

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if nefazodone may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use nefazodone:

Use nefazodone as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Nefazodone comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get nefazodone refilled.
  • Take nefazodone by mouth with or without food.
  • Do not take nefazodone within 4 hours of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (eg, fluoxetine).
  • If you miss a dose of nefazodone, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use nefazodone.

Important safety information:

  • Nefazodone may cause drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, or lightheadedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use nefazodone with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Additional monitoring of your condition is recommended at the start of treatment and whenever a change in dose is made.
  • It may take several weeks for nefazodone to work fully. Continue to take it even though you feel better. Do not stop taking nefazodone without checking with your doctor.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using nefazodone; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Children, teenagers, and young adults who take nefazodone may be at increased risk for suicidal thoughts or actions. Watch all patients who take nefazodone closely. Contact the doctor at once if new, worsened, or sudden symptoms such as depressed mood; anxious, restless, or irritable behavior; panic attacks; or any unusual change in mood or behavior occur. Contact the doctor right away if any signs of suicidal thoughts or actions occur.
  • Nefazodone may rarely cause a prolonged, painful erection. This could happen even when you are not having sex. If this is not treated right away, it could lead to permanent sexual problems such as impotence. Contact your doctor right away if this happens.
  • Lab tests, including liver function, kidney function, and complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use nefazodone. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use nefazodone with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Nefazodone should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using nefazodone while you are pregnant. It is not known if nefazodone is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use nefazodone, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of nefazodone:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Abnormal dreams; abnormal skin sensations; changes in taste; chills; confusion; constipation; decreased concentration; decreased sex drive; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; fever; frequent urination; headache; incoordination; increased appetite; increased cough; indigestion; lightheadedness; memory loss; mental confusion; ringing in the ears; sleeplessness; sore throat; swelling of the hands and feet; tremor; urinary retention; urinary tract infection; vaginal infection; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); anxiety; blurred vision; dark urine; extreme fatigue; fainting; general body discomfort; hostility; impulsive feelings; irregular heartbeat; irritability; loss of appetite; mental or mood changes; nausea; painful, prolonged erections; seizures; severe restlessness; stomach pain; thoughts of hurting yourself; upset stomach; vomiting; worsening of depression; yellowing of skin/eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include drowsiness; increased sweating; nausea; sluggishness; vomiting.

Proper storage of nefazodone:

Store nefazodone at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep nefazodone out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about nefazodone, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Nefazodone is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take nefazodone or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about nefazodone. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to nefazodone. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using nefazodone.

Issue Date: April 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.2.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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