April 10, 2009
Nefazodone Information – Side Effects, Uses and Benefits

Type of Drug:

Antidepressant; mood elevating agent.

How the Nefazodone Product Works:

The exact mechanism is unknown. Nefazodone appears to block the uptake of serotonin and norepinephrine (chemicals found in the brain). The effect may take a few weeks to be noticed.

Uses of The Nefazodone:

To treat mental depression in patients 18 years of age and older.

Unlabeled Uses: Occasionally, doctors may prescribe nefazodone for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


Liver abnormalities: Life-threatening liver failure has been reported in patients taking nefazodone. Notify your doctor if you experience yellowing of the skin or eyes, appetite loss, or tiredness.

Pregnancy: There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Use only if clearly needed and potential benefits outweigh the possible hazards to the fetus.

Breastfeeding: It is not known if nefazodone appears in breast milk. Consult your doctor before you begin breastfeeding.

Children: Safety and effectiveness in patients younger than 18 years of age have not been established.

Elderly: Lower initial does or recommended for patient older than 65 years of age.

Drug Interactions:

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or planning to take any over­the-counter or prescription medications while taking this drug. Doses of one or both drugs may need to be modified or a different drug may need to be prescribed. The following drugs and drug classes interact with this drug:

  • buspirone (eg, BuSpar)
  • carbamazepine (eg, Tegretol)
  • cyclosporine (eg, Sandimmune)
  • digoxin (eg, Lanoxin)
  • haloperidol (eg, Haldol)

Side Effects of Nefazodone:

Every drug is capable of producing side effects. Many patients experience no, or minor, side effects. The frequency and severity of side effects depend on many factors including dose, duration of therapy, and individual susceptibility. Possible side effects include:

Digestive Tract: Nausea; constipation; indigestion; diarrhea; appetite changes; vomiting; stomach pain; gas; dry mouth.

Nervous System: Dizziness; sleeplessness; weakness; drowsiness; light­headedness; confusion; headache; memory loss; incoordination; tremor; anxiety; unstable emotions; depression; abnormal dreams; decreased concentration; migraine; agitation.

Circulatory System: Low blood pressure; chest pain; pounding in the chest (palpitations); slow heartbeat.

Respiratory System: Cough; runny nose; difficulty breathing; sinus infection; bronchitis; sore throat.

Skin: Itching; rash; abnormal skin sensations; flushing; sweating; increasod sensitivity to touch.

Urinary and Reproductive Tract: Prolonged or inappropriate erections; decreased sexual drive; changes in urinary frequency; breast pain; painful menstruation; impotence; painful urination.

Other: Eye pain; flu syndrome; chills; fever; stiff neck; swelling in the arms and legs; joint, muscle, back, or neck pain; ringing in the ears; abnormal taste sensations; weight gain; swelling; cramping; blurred or abnormal vision; thirst.

Guidelines for Use:

  • Dosage is individualized. Take exactly as prescribed.
  • Take in 2 divided doses on an empty stomach, or as directed by your doctor.
  • Do not stop taking or change the dose unless instructed by your doctor.
  • Notify your doctor immediately if you develop a rash, hives, or other type of allergic reaction.
  • If a dose is missed, take it as soon as possible. If several hours have passed or it is nearing time for the next dose, do not double the dose to catch up, unless instructed by your doctor. If more than one dose is missed, or it is necessary to establish a new dosage schedule, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Do not use in combination with MAOls (eg, phenelzine) or within 14 days of discontinuing treatment with an MAOI. After stopping this medicine, wait at least 1 week before starting an MAOI.
  • May impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills. Use caution while driving or performing other tasks requiring alertness, coordination, or physical dexterity until tolerance is determined.
  • Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, become pregnant, are planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • Avoid alcohol while using this medicine.
  • Improvement may not be seen for several weeks. Exams may be necessary. Be sure to keep appointments.
  • Store at room temperature (59° to 86°F) in a dry place.

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