Nefazodone | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

nefazodone, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Serzone (Discontinued)
A discontinued drug is a drug that has been taken off the market due to safety issues, shortage of raw materials, or low market demand.
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Highlights for nefazodone

Oral tablet
1

Nefazodone is used to treat depression.

2

This drug comes as a tablet you take by mouth.

3

This drug is only available as a generic drug.

4

The more common side effects of this drug include dry mouth, nausea, dizziness, constipation, weakness, lightheadedness, problems with vision, and confusion.

5

In some cases, nefazodone can cause serious side effects. These can include suicidal thoughts or actions and liver failure.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA warning

This drug has a black box warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Suicidal thoughts or actions warning. Nefazodone and other antidepressant drugs may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, or young adults within the first few months of treatment or when the dose is changed. Watch for these changes and call your doctor right away if you notice new or sudden changes in mood, behavior, thoughts, or feelings, especially if severe.

Liver failure warning. Nefazodone can increase your risk for liver failure. This can be life-threatening. You shouldn’t take this drug if you have active liver disease. You shouldn’t take this drug if you’ve taken it before and developed liver disease. Signs of liver failure can include yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, nausea or vomiting, dark urine, or tiredness. Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these symptoms. 

Low blood pressure

Nefazodone can increase your risk for a form of low blood pressure that happens when you stand up from sitting or lying down. This drop in blood pressure may cause you to faint. This risk may be increased if you have a history of heart attack, angina (chest pain), or stroke.

What is nefazodone?

Nefazodone is a prescription drug. It is only available as a generic drug. It comes as a tablet that you take by mouth.

Nefazodone may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Why it's used

Nefazodone is used to treat depression.

How it works

Nefazodone belongs to a class of drugs called antidepressants.

More Details

How it works

Nefazodone belongs to a class of drugs called antidepressants. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Nefazodone helps to treat depression by correcting an imbalance in the amounts of certain natural chemicals in your brain called serotonin and norepinephrine.

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nefazodone Side Effects

Oral tablet

More common side effects

The more common side effects of nefazodone can include:

  • sleepiness

  • dry mouth

  • nausea

  • dizziness

  • constipation

  • weakness

  • lightheadedness

  • vision problems

  • confusion

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Liver failure. Symptoms can include:

    • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
    • urine that is unusually dark
    • loss of appetite that lasts several days or longer
    • severe nausea
    • lower stomach pain
  • Thoughts about suicide or dying

  • New or worsening depression or anxiety

  • Feeling very agitated or restless

  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)

  • Acting aggressive, angry, or violent

  • Acting on dangerous impulses

  • Extreme increase in activity and talking

  • Seizures

Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Nefazodone may cause drowsiness. Use caution with driving or operating dangerous machinery (power mower, power tools) that requires full mental alertness until you know how nefazodone affects you.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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nefazodone May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Nefazodone can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Alcohol interaction

The use of drinks that contain alcohol should be avoided while taking nefazodone. If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Drugs you should not take with nefazodone

Do not take these drugs with nefazodone. Taking them with nefazodone can cause dangerous effects in your body. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Pimozide
    • The combination of these drugs can cause changes in your heart rhythm. This can be life-threatening.
  • Carbamazepine
    • Taking this drug with nefazodone can lower the levels of nefazodone in your body too much.

Interactions that can increase the risk of side effects

Taking nefazodone and certain medications may result in an increase in adverse effects. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Benzodiazepines such as triazolam and alprazolam
    • Nefazodone can increase the amount of these drugs that stays in your body. This increases your risk of sedation. Triazolam should be avoided in most people who take nefazodone.
  • Buspirone
    • Taking this drug with nefazodone increases your risk of lightheadedness, weakness, dizziness, or tiredness. Your doctor may lower your dose of buspirone if you take these drugs together.
  • Fluoxetine
    • You may experience brief headaches or moments of lightheadedness, nausea, or sensations of tingling or pricking if you switch from using fluoxetine (another drug used to treat depression) to using nefazodone.
  • Statins such as simvastatin, atorvastatin, and lovastatin
    • You may experience muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness when taking these drugs with nefazodone. Your doctor may need to adjust your dose of the statin if you take one of these drugs and nefazodone and this happens to you.
  • Haloperidol
    • The combination of nefazodone and haloperidol can increase the levels of haloperidol in your body. This could increase your risk of side effects such as agitation, muscle stiffness, restlessness, and muscle spasms. Your doctor may need to adjust your dose of haloperidol.
  • Digoxin
    • Taking nefazodone with digoxin can raise the levels of digoxin in your body. This can increase your risk of side effects from digoxin. These may include confusion, weakness, blurred vision, and abnormal heart rate.
  • Immunosuppresive drugs such as cyclosporine or tacrolimus
    • Taking nefazodone with cyclosporine or tacrolimus can raise the levels of these drugs in your body. This can increase your risk of side effects, such as high blood pressure, liver or kidney failure, confusion, muscle weakness, and seizures.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Nefazodone warnings
People with bipolar disorder
People with bipolar disorder

Let your doctor know if you have a history of bipolar disorder. If you have a history of bipolar disorder, taking nefazodone alone may trigger a mixed or manic episode.

Pregnancy women
Pregnancy women

Nefazodone is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should only be used if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

Nefazodone may pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breast-fed.

Talk to your doctor if you breast-feed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breast-feeding or stop taking this medication.

For seniors
For seniors

If you’re older than 65 years, you may be at a higher risk of side effects.

For children
For children

The safety and effectiveness of the use of this drug in people younger than 18 years hasn’t been established.

When to call the doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this drug.

Allergies
Allergies

Nefazodone can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

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How to Take nefazodone (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Depression

Generic: nefazodone

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 50 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18-64 years)
  • The typical starting dose is 200 mg per day, taken in 2 divided doses.
  • Your doctor may slowly increase your dose every week. A dose that is effective for treating depression ranges from 300 mg to 600 mg per day.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

It hasn’t been confirmed that the use of nefazodone is safe and effective in people younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Seniors may be at higher risk of side effects of this drug. Your doctor may start you on a lower dose, such as 100 mg per day, and slowly increase your dose.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Nefazodone comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug or don’t take it at all

If you don’t take nefazodone at all, your depression won’t get better and it may even get worse. If you stop taking it suddenly, you may have symptoms of anxiety, irritability, high or low mood, feeling restless, changes in sleep habits, headache, sweating, nausea, dizziness, electric shock-like sensations, shaking, and confusion.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sleepiness or drowsiness

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

You’ll know that nefazodone is working if you notice that your depression symptoms are less severe or happen less often. It can take several weeks of treatment to receive the full benefit.

Nefazodone is used for long-term treatment.

You should keep taking nefazodone as directed by your doctor. It may take 6 months or longer to treat an episode of depression.

Important considerations for taking nefazodone
You can take nefazodone with or without food
You can take nefazodone with or without food
Take nefazodone at the same time every day exactly as prescribed by your doctor
Take nefazodone at the same time every day exactly as prescribed by your doctor
You can cut or crush the tablet
You can cut or crush the tablet
Store this drug carefully
Store this drug carefully
See Details
A prescription for this medication is refillable
A prescription for this medication is refillable
See Details
Travel
Travel
See Details
Clinical monitoring
Clinical monitoring
See Details
Sun sensitivity
Sun sensitivity
See Details
Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead.
Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead.
Insurance
Insurance
See Details

Store this drug carefully

  • Store nefazodone at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C). Keep it away from light.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

Nefazodone can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. This increases your risk of sunburn. Avoid the sun if you can. If you can’t, be sure to wear protective clothing and apply sunscreen.

Sun sensitivity

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

Insurance

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

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How Much Does nefazodone Cost?

Oral tablet

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Lowest price for nefazodone

Walgreens $47.08
CVS Pharmacy $78.41
Target (CVS) $78.41
These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for nefazodone on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for nefazodone on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on November 30, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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