You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking this medication if you have:
- Bipolar disorder or a family history of bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression)
- Have heart disease or have had a heart attack or stroke
- Chest pain
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Had a recent heart attack
- An upcoming surgery
- Liver problems, including liver failure or cirrhosis
- A history of suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Serzone and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Serzone and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you may be taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Nefazodone for more information on this topic, including information on who should not take nefazodone.)
It is not entirely clear how nefazodone works. There are no other medications that work exactly like it. Nefazodone acts on specific chemicals within the brain known as serotonin and norepinephrine. Serotonin and norepinephrine are chemicals used to send messages between nerves; when serotonin and norepinephrine levels become unbalanced, however, it can cause a variety of conditions, including depression. Nefazodone helps to block the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine so that more is available for the nerves in the brain, returning the serotonin back to its "normal" levels. However, unlike selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), nefazodone may also block certain types of serotonin receptors.